Celtics' Jayson Tatum names NBA player who's a tough matchup: 'He's just very solid'


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Jayson Tatum helped push the Boston Celtics to the top of the Eastern Conference as the NBA passed the halfway point of the 2023-2024 season.

Tatum is putting together another solid season in the green and white. Before Monday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, he was averaging 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game in 40 games.

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Lu Dort steals the ball

Lu Dort (5) of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives past Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics during the first quarter at Paycom Center on Jan. 3, 2023, in Oklahoma City. (Ian Maule/Getty Images)

On most nights, Tatum is usually stuffing the scoresheet with at least 20 points. It’s a very rare occurrence that he scores anywhere below that mark and even rarer to score fewer than 10 points. There is at least one player he mentioned to Fox News Digital that gives him a headache defensively.

“There’s a lot of really good defenders in the league. I think Lu Dort from OKC,” Tatum said in a recent interview. “He’s a really, really solid defender. He’s got good size. Not the tallest, but very strong, low to the ground, so he can kind of get under you.”

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Jayson Tatum gets a tech

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics says Lu Dort (not shown) from Oklahoma City is a tough defender. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images/File)

“He’s just very solid, he doesn’t really go for a lot of fakes,” Tatum continued. “He doesn’t really go for pump fakes or things like that. He’s not really somebody you can play with the ball in front of you. You got to be quick and decisive, get to your spot and just raise up.”

The Thunder forward is averaging 0.9 steals and 0.8 blocks per game and has 1.3 defensive win shares, according to Basketball Reference.

Tatum is likely to earn his fifth All-Star Game selection because of his prowess on the court this season.

The Celtics guard teamed up with Ruffles and Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson to launch “Ridgeline Unlocks” and bring two fans to the All-Star game in Indianapolis. The two fans will be able to take a shot from the four-point line before the Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game next month.

Jayson Tatum on the ground

Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum (Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

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Tatum said he’s expecting it to be a “special” weekend since the All-Star Saturday night is set to take place at Lucas Oil Stadium while the game itself is set for Gainbridge Fieldhouse.



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