During a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything, Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum shared the two toughest players for him to defend, and both happen to play for the LA Clippers.
Tatum has had no shortage of tough defensive assignments throughout his young career. He guarded LeBron James for stretches as a rookie in the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals, for instance. To say that the Clippers’ two All-Stars are his toughest assignments is truly the highest praise, particularly when considering that it takes a great scorer to know a great scorer.
The Celtics are 3-1 against the Clippers since Leonard and George landed in LA, though all four games have been tightly contested, with two of them going to overtime. Leonard only played in three of those games, averaging 24.3 points. George averaged 20.3 points in his three games played, although he strained his hamstring in one of those games and was sidelined after fifteen minutes of play. While Tatum was not exclusively guarding either of them for any of those games, he did get an up-close look at how skilled the two wings are.
While it is unlikely that the Celtics will make it through the East this year for a potential Clippers-Celtics Finals (LA is far from guaranteed either), it’s fun to envision a scenario in which Tatum will face his idols in a postseason matchup down the road. He and Jaylen Brown share a lot of similarities with Leonard and George, as all four are lengthy, athletic wings that are defensively versatile and offensively skilled. Here’s hoping fans will get to see these two duos clash someday.