Jayson Tatum's pl stephen curry jersey retired ayoff timeline: From rookie duel with LeBron James to sweeping Kevin Durant

MORE: 2022 NBA Playoffs Power R stephen curry jersey black and yellow ankings: Who is the best team in the second round?How has Tatum's previous playoff runs stephen curry autographed jersey framed prepared him for what would be the toughest path to winning the East he's ever faced? We have a timeline of his standou

LeBron-James-Jayson-Tatum-FTR [NBA Getty Images]

As the Boston Celtics try and navigate their way through another brutal Eastern Conference foe in the Milwaukee Bucks, superstar forward Jayson Tatum will have to continue to look like one of the best players in the world.

The 24-year-old is more versed than most at his age in how to perform under t NBA Beanies he bright lights of the NBA Playoffs, though.

Tatum has never missed the playoffs in his five-year career. As a 20-year-old, the rising star was asked to shoulder a heavier load than what is typically asked of a rookie. He passed that test with flying colors, carrying the Celtics to the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals, coming up just one win shy of reaching the NBA Finals.

In fact, in just five seasons, Tatum has already led the Celtics to the Conference Finals twice (2018, 2020) , with the only next step being his first NBA Finals appearance.

MORE: 2022 NBA Playoffs Power Rankings: Who is the best team in the second round?

How has Tatum's previous playoff runs stephen curry autographed jersey framed prepared him for what would be the toughest path to winning the East he's ever faced? We have a timeline of his standout postseason moments below.

2017-18: Going toe-to-toe with LeBron James

With the Celtics entering the 2018 NBA Playoffs without their two injured All-Stars, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, many began to count out the No. 2 seed.

That's when Tatum's emergence as a future superstar truly began.

The 20-year-old averaged a team-best 18.5 points per game for the Celtics that postseason, starting his playoff career with a bang by going for 20 points, six rebounds and five assists in a Game 7 win over Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.

Tatum kept that momentum going in a second-round series against the 76ers – who were the hottest team in the NBA at the time – winning 21 out of their last 22 games going back to a 16-game win streak to close the regular season. The young star went for over 20 points in every game, averaging 23.6 points on 52.6 percent shooting from the field to defeat Philadelphia in five games.

Awaiting him oakland warriors stephen curry jersey in his first-ever Conference Finals appearance was his childhood idol – LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

Before the series even started, steph curry jersey framed a tweet from a 14-year-old Tatum asking for a follow back from James went viral, setting the stage for how surreal this moment would be for the rookie. The series went the distance and in Game 7, Tatum threw down a poster dunk on James as an "I'm here" statement moment for the star-in-the-making.

The Cavaliers defeated the Celtics in Game 7 as LeBron advanced to his eighth-straight NBA Finals, but a 20-year-old Tatum nearly dethroned The King in his first taste of the Conference Finals stage.

2018-19: One step forward, one step back

After a breakout rookie playoff run, Tatum plateaued in his second postseason appearance. With Irving and Hayward back in the mix and the Celtics finally back at full strength, the scoring pecking order was very unclear between the two All-Stars, Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and Terry Rozier.

Boston handled the Pacers in the first round where Tatum averaged 19.3 points per game while shooting 50.9 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from 3, but the Bucks got revenge on the Celtics in the next round.

MORE: Updated championship odds for 2022 NBA Playoffs

Milwaukee defeated Boston in five game NBA Hats s and Tatum was held to four points in Game 1 and five points in Game 2. He only averaged 12.0 points for the series and shot 36.4 percent from the field and 12.5 percent from 3.

2019-20: Ano Demar Derozan ther t airpods second gen with stephen curry s jersey on it rip to the Eastern Conference Finals


Over the offseason, Irving signed with the Nets and the Celtics quickly became Tatum and Brown's team. Tatum responded to all the offseason criticism from his playoff shortcoming the year before by delivering his first All-Star season in 2019-20.

When the NBA resumed play in the Orlando bubble following the coronavirus pandemic, Tatum elevated his game to another level in the jersey number of stephen curry 2020 NBA Playoffs.

The first-time All-Star lead Boston to its second Eastern Conference Finals appearance in three seasons, averaging 25.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.0 steals per game.

With that stat line, he joined Larry Bird and LeBron as the only three players in NBA history to average 25-10-5-1-1 and reach the Conference Finals or beyond. (For what it's worth, Antetokounmpo also joined that group during his 2021 NBA Finals run.)

Tatum went for 10 double-doubles in 17 games while also tallying 30 or more points in five games. H Dwyane Wade owever, the Heat defeated the Celtics in six games in the Conference Finals, continuing Boston's decade-long drought of reaching the NBA Finals.

2020-21: A sign of things to come

The Celtics were dealt some brutal news just ahead of the 2021 NBA Playoffs when it was announced that star guard Jaylen Brown needed season-ending wrist surgery.

Boston had to qualify for the playoffs through the newly established Play-In Tournament, needing one win to claim the No. 7 seed and a date with Irving, Kevin Durant, James Harden and the Nets.

Tatum put the Celtics on his back in the Play-In game, erupting for 50 points to defeat Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal and the Wizards.

Undermanned in the first round going up against Brooklyn – who was at full strength for one of the first times all season – Tatum did all he could to keep Boston competitive in the series.

He went off for 50 points in Game 3 in the team's only win, but also scored 40 points in a loss in Game 4 and 32 points in a loss in Game 5 to leave the playoffs with something to build upon.

For the series, Tatum averaged a jaw-dropping 30.6 points to go with 5.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.

2021-22: Sweeping Kevin Durant and the Nets

Kevin-Durant-Jayson-Tatum-FTR [NBA Getty Images]

This season, some teams in the Eastern Conference tried to position themselves away from a potential first-round matchup with the Nets, who had to qualify for the playoffs through the Play-In Tournament. The Celtics eventually drew that matchup, but this time around, it was Boston who was at full strength.

Tatum was tasked with the seemingly impossible challenge of trying to stop former NBA MVP Kevin Durant while also maintaining his place as the Celtics' No. 1 option on offense. Tatum was by far and away the best player in the entire series, locking down Durant to help the Celtics sweep the Nets.

MORE: Antetokounmpo's Game 1 impact bodes trouble for Celtics in East Semis

Offensively, Tatum averaged 29.5 points and 7.3 assists while shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from 3. His marquee moment was a 31-point ma Dirk Nowitzki sterpiece in Game 1, capped off by a game-winning buzzer-beater to set the tone for the series.

Defensively, he stifled one of the greatest scorers the game has ever seen.

According to NBA stats, Tatum defended Durant on 139 partial possessions, holding him to 12 points while shooting 3-for-18 (16.7 percent!) from the field and 0-for-5 from 3 with 12 turnovers.

Taking down Durant and the Nets was just the start of what would have to be a gauntlet run through the East for Tatum and the Celtics, looking to reach his first NBA Finals.

Standing in his way is reigning Finals MVP Antetokounmpo and even if they clear that hurdle, awaiting them in the Conference Finals would either be a 2020 rematch with the Heat or MVP candidate Embiid and the 76ers.

If Tatum can plow Boston through the East in one of the conference's strongest years in recent memory, there may have to be some conversations about his standing among the top players in the NBA today.

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