The New York Knicks didn’t have enough gas in their tanks to overcome the Celtics in the second half of Monday’s 114-98 loss. After being down by only one at the half, New York lost by 16, mainly because of Jayson Tatum’s offensive expertise.
Tatum had a dominant yet still somehow quiet night with a game-high 35 points on 13-of-23 shooting from the field. He also added seven assists and six rebounds in his team-high 39 minutes to help seal the win for Boston.
The Celtics outscored the Knicks in the fourth quarter, 30-22. In the final quarter alone, Tatum scored or assisted on 22 points, as many as New York scored as a team.
Jayson Tatum propels Celtics past Knicks in Monday’s 114-98 win
In New York’s loss to Boston on opening night, it was all about Kristaps Porzingis, who scored 30 points. The former Knick put together a solid performance on Monday with 21 points and six rebounds, but Jayson Tatum stole the show.
Tatum is leading the Celtics in points, rebounds, steals, and made threes. Boston is off to an 8-2 start, the second-best in the East behind Philadelphia (8-1). The Celtics lost Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, and Malcolm Brogdon over the offseason but gained Porzingis and Jrue Holiday, a series of moves that the organization hopes will pay off with a championship.
One of the Knicks’ biggest critiques is that they’re without a superstar, something that the Celtics have in Tatum. Jalen Brunson is a star, and he finished with 26 points on 10-of-21 shooting in 39 minutes. Even with Brunson leading the charge, Monday’s loss made it obvious that New York is a step below contender status.
New York’s plan needs to be to build around Brunson, even if that means losing Julius Randle in the process.
Hopefully, Tatum and the Celtics’ wishes of winning their first title since 2008 won’t come true. However, if Monday’s game indicates how Boston’s season will play out, it looks pretty good for New York’s hated division rival. If Jayson Tatum can consistently play at a superstar level, the Celtics will reap the benefits.