There are still a few Eastern Conference forwards comfortably ahead of Jayson Tatum in the 2020 All-Star NBA Game fan vote, but the third-year Celtics wing should easily receive his first invite to the league’s biggest showcase. Especially after what he did on Saturday.
“I just think he’s going to be ever-improving,” Brad Stevens said about Tatum following Saturday’s win. “He had a couple of really good finishes with both hands early in the game. But he also, I thought, had the right mindest: attack. It helps when you start off these 40-point games with a couple of layups, which he got. Couple off (of) his effort, couple off bigs sealing for him, and then he got a couple steals and now the basket feels a little bit bigger and some of those threes go down. But the finishing is going to be really important. And we’ve talked about — we’re talked a lot about how best to do that, but I think he’s had a great year. But I think he can get better.”
Still, before Saturday’s game, Tatum has been in consideration for Eastern Conference Player of the Week and Eastern Conference Player of the Month at points throughout the season. And, again, he’s in the running to start at forward in the 2020 All-Star Game. (He’s fifth among the East’s forwards in the fan vote.)
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid will be two of the East’s forwards who earn a starting nod in the All-Star Game. Pascal Siakam is in the lead for the last spot, with Jimmy Butler right behind the Toronto forward. But the league’s head coaches still vote in three reserves at the forward position from each conference.
If it wasn’t clear already, Tatum made sure the point got across on Saturday: he deserves to be among those representing the Eastern Conference in this year’s All-Star Game.