2018 NBA Playoffs

Rookie takes his game – and Celtics – to another level in postseason debut

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Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn, Jayson Tatum.

That’s the list of Celtics rookies who have posted double-doubles in their first taste of the postseason. Tatum’s 19-point, 10-rebound performance in Boston’s 113-107 overtime win over the Bucks on Sunday also made him just the fifth 20-year-old to ever post a double-double in his playoff debut, joining some mostly elite company on that front (Magic Johnson, Tracy McGrady, Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley).

“Not at all (surprised)," Marcus Morris said of the performance after the game. “I’ve said it – I expect him to do well. I’m around him every day. Calling him rook is the only rookie thing about him.”

While Tatum’s teammates piled up points at the free-throw line after intentional fouls in the final minutes of regulation and overtime, Tatum’s contributions across the box score (19 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals, one block) came in the midst of some of the game’s most pivotal sequences. His ability to shoot the 3 and step up in crunch time has been proven all year long, but Sunday’s effort showcased his tools across the board in a very promising way for Celtics fans — for both now, and the future.

Consider these facets of the game where Tatum boosted the Celtics:

Keeping the Celtics afloat while Al Horford rested