Jayson Tatum, who plays small forward and power forward for the Boston Celtics, is playing spectacular defense for the team this season.
The Celtics, who are currently 6th in the Eastern Conference at this moment, have been getting hot. They have won eight of their last nine games right before the All-Star break.
His length and athleticism are really standing out this season on the defensive end.
He is ranked first in the top 16 for defensive win shares with 6.1 according to Basketball-Reference.
Defensive win shares is a calculation of a player’s marginal value or the quantifiable amount that the team’s defensive ability increases while the player is on the court.
Tatum is such a long and versatile defender that he can hold his own against smaller guards just as well.
His success is largely in part of head coach Ime Udoka’s new defensive system that he has implemented since he has taken the reins as the head coach of the Celtics.
The new defensive system is relying on switching and helping out on the defensive end of the court.
In that video, look at how Tatum holds his ground against Tyrese Maxey after Joel Embid gives Maxey a ball screen. That was unbelievable by Tatum defending Maxey, who is the starting point guard of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Players like Dennis Schroder and Enes Freedom did not thrive on the new defensive system implemented because they were not able to switch out of their natural position without creating a matchup problem.
Let’s hope Tatum and the Celtics can keep up the great defensive scheme they are putting on game after game!
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