Jayson Tatum vs Lonzo Ball – Round One Preview

I originally wanted to do this with Jayson Tatum and Markelle Fultz (obviously). The fact that these two players will be linked together forever because of the trade was the fuel behind that…

But the Sixers are the Sixers and they’re doing everything they can to ensure that Fultz dies before he plays meaningful minutes.

So do I throw away the idea? Nope. Not this guy. On to the next one that we can run Jayson Tatum through and have him demolish. This matchup is at least a lot flashier thanks to the latter half.

I have never seen a more marketed and hyped player leading up to the draft than Lonzo Ball. You don’t have to be a fan of Lavar Ball, I personally am. Whether you are a fan or not, you cannot dispute the fact that he is a marketing genius. His bravado and confidence is a marketing gold mine in today’s Internet meme-based kind of culture. The guy is a gif and meme waiting to happen. It has only built Lonzo’s hype to greater heights, which has absolutely skewed what the expectations should be for Lonzo himself.

In this installment, we’re going to look at Ball and Jayson Tatum objectively and how they’re adapting to the NBA. I figured now was a great time to start this because it’s their first matchup against one another. We’ll be re-visiting this comparison throughout the season.

Through the first 10 games for the Lakers and 11 games for the Celtics, I have LOVED what I’ve seen from Tatum and have liked the game Ball has as well.

Take a look at this…

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 12.52.10 PM

The two positions are so different, and their games are different as well… But you have to be impressed with what Jayson Tatum is doing. Averaging 14.3 points per game as a rookie is awesome, but that’s not the amazing part…

9 shots per game… Tatum is taking an average of 9 shots per game… That is ridiculous. To be that efficient this early in his career is ASTOUNDING. The game comes to him so comfortably, he doesn’t force anything. It’s incredible to watch.

Then… Lonzo. Yikes… Woof, dude. 8.8 points per game and shooting 30% from the floor (23% from three) — ACTUALLY BAD. But I get it, Lonzo isn’t supposed to be this lights out shooter and 30 points a night guy… Right?

I envision him as just that floor general. His rebounding numbers and assist numbers are solid but I do have a knock on the 2.4 turnovers per game. I think the big thing for me when I’ve stayed up to watch Lakers games (that west coast timing SUCKS as a basketball watcher) I just see Lonzo forcing the issue A LOT. There are points where he just doesn’t look that comfortable. Some players it takes a longer time. Some it’s just natural to start out…

Like Tatum.

So tonight I expect a GREAT matchup at TD Garden. Not just because it’s Celtics-Lakers but because these rookies are going to be on the national stage going at it. Anyone who is calling Lonzo a bust this early in his career is just moronic and I expect him to play well tonight…

But Jayson Tatum is going to play better, en route to stretching his lead for Rookie of the Year.




Just doing the damn thing, one Boston sporting event at a time. Founder of Boston Bench Mob. Mid-range jump shot enthusiast. Believer of the TB12 Method. Mozzarella sticks for life.

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