Third-year Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum was voted in by NBA coaches to the 2020 NBA All-Star game as a reserve. This is Tatum’s first All-Star selection. He’ll join Celtics teammate Kemba Walker as an All-Star.
Tatum made the All-Star game on the strength of his all-around game and his improved play in his third season. Tatum is averaging career-highs nearly across the board with 21.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals and nearly one block per game. Tatum’s shooting numbers are down a bit for the year, but are on the rise after an early-season slump.
On the defensive end, Tatum has drawn the praise of teammates, opponents and opposing coaches. He’s regularly taken on the opponent’s best offensive forward. In addition, Tatum is often asked to defend bigger players, as he’s Boston’s de facto power forward.
The All-Star selection caps off a meteoric rise for Tatum. Following his second season, Tatum was one of four Celtics selected to play for Team USA. Tatum joined Walker, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart on the FIBA World Cup roster. Tatum’s summer was cut short, as he played in just two games for Team USA due to an ankle injury.
Walker and Tatum will be the first pair of Celtics to represent Boston at the All-Star Game since 2018 when Al Horford and Kyrie Irving were selected. This is the 49th time multiple Celtics have been voted in as All-Stars.
The 2020 NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 16th at 8:00 PM EST and will be broadcast on TNT. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo will be the two team captains and will select their teams in the NBA All-Star Draft next Thursday, February 6th at 7:00 PM EST on TNT. Walker will be part of the first eight players selected, as James and Antetokounmpo will select from the pool of starters first. They’ll then move on to select from the pool of reserves, including Tatum.