Coming off his All-Star 2019-20 season, Tatum returned to Boston for his fourth season in the Association. In 2020-21, The Duke product delivered per game career highs in points (26.4), rebounds (7.4) and assists (4.3), plus shot a career-best 86.8 percent from the charity stripe. On Jan. 3, during a win at Detroit, Tatum dished a career-high 12 assists to go with 24 points and two blocks. The next night, Tatum delivered 40 points on 11-for-19 shooting during a road win over the Raptors. On Feb. 17, Tatum generated 35 points (11-21 FG, 3-9 3Pt, 10-11 FT), six boards, six assists and two steals in a home loss to the Hawks. In March, Tatum was named to his second career All-Star game and started for Team Durant. In the ASG, Tatum delivered 21 points, seven assists and four rebounds over 16 minutes of run. On Apr. 30, the forward scored a career-high 60 points (20-37 FG, 5-7 3Pt, 15-17 FT) in a home win over the Spurs. Tatum's 60 points tied the franchise high set by Larry Bird in 1985. Tatum started all five of Boston's playoff games versus Brooklyn and posted 30.6 points, 5.8 boards, 1.6 blocks, 1.2 steals and 2.8 made three-pointers over 37 minutes per post-season contest. He has four more years remaining on his contract with the Celtics.2019
Tatum emerged as a star for the Celtics in his third NBA season, blowing away his prior offensive output with 23.4 points per game along with career-high averages in rebounds (7.0), assists (3.0), steals (1.4) and blocks (0.9). He also hit 2.9 threes per game -- more than his prior two seasons put together. The 22-year-old forward made his first All-Star team and was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month after averaging 30.7 points per game in February. He finished 15th in the NBA in points per game thanks to dropping 30-plus points on 15 occasions and topping out with a career-high 41 twice -- Jan. 11 against the Pelicans and Feb. 23 against the Lakers. Tatum also delivered 10 double-doubles, including scoring 32 points with a season-high 13 boards against Houston on Feb. 29. He elevated his game even more in the playoffs, averaging a double-double with 25.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.2 blocks across 40.6 minutes per game. Over the course of Boston's 17-game postseason run, Tatum double-doubled nine times, including a career-high 15 rebounds in Game 4 of the first round against Philadelphia. His biggest postseason scoring performance came in Game 2 of the second round against Toronto, when Tatum put up 34 points, thanks in no small part to a perfect 14-of-14 performance from the line. For his efforts, Tatum was named to the All-NBA Third Team, marking his first career selection.2018
Though it wasn't quite the break for stardom that some were expecting, Tatum showed significant improvement in his sophomore season, increasing his stats across the board. His scoring ticked up nearly two points to 15.7 per game, he added a full rebound per game to his rookie-season average (now 6.0), and his assists (2.1) and steals (1.1) ticked up as well. Although he was unable to match the prior season's incredible accuracy from three-point range, Tatum still shot a respectable 37.3 percent from long range and 45.0 percent on the whole. He also improved his already strong free-throw shooting, making 85.5 percent of his shots from the charity stripe. On Oct. 20, the third game of the season, Tatum exploded for 24 points and a career-high 14 rebounds during a win over the Knicks -- the first of his nine double-doubles on the year. During a road win at Portland on Nov. 11, the second-year forward drained a career-high five three-pointers en route to 27 points, adding eight rebounds. On Jan. 14, Tatum scored a career-high 34 points to go with five boards and three blocks against the Nets. Tatum finished the season first the Celtics in rebounds, and second in points and blocks. Come playoff time, he remained a valuable and versatile contributor, averaging 15.2 points with 6.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals. He scored 26 points in Game 2 of the first round against Indianapolis and double-doubled twice consecutively in Games 3 and 4 of the second round against Milwaukee.2017
The Celtics traded down from the first pick in the NBA draft to the third to draft Tatum out of Duke, and the move appears to have paid off already. The 19-year-old ended up starting all 80 games in which he appeared for Boston, posting a well-rounded stat line with 13.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. Tatum was an efficient shooter from the field (47.5 percent), but he particularly shined from beyond the arc, as his 43.4 percent clip on three-pointers ranked eighth in the NBA. Tatum announced his presence to the league with a double-double in his debut Oct. 17 against Cleveland, notching 14 points and 10 rebounds. He went on to collect four double-doubles on the season. Tatum scored in double digits in 64 of his 80 games, topping out with 27 points alongside a season-high-tying four steals Feb. 2 against Atlanta. He finished second on the team behind only Kyrie Irving in total points scored (1,112). When injuries forced Irving to miss the playoffs, the rookie stepped up to assume far more responsibility on offense. Through 19 playoff games, Tatum led the Celtics with 18.5 points per game while shooting 47.1 percent from the field. Tatum double-doubled in his first career playoff contest, tacking up 19 points and 10 boards against the Bucks. He exceeded his regular-season best with 28 points in the opening game of Boston's second-round series against the Sixers. That was one of a streak of seven consecutive playoff games in which he scored 20-plus; Tatum became the youngest player in NBA history to achieve that feat. Following the season, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.