Stephen A. Smith: Jayson Tatum 'put the world on notice' with 50-point game

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Stephen A. Smith's reaction to Tatum's 50-burger speaks volumes originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Jayson Tatum was the talk of the basketball world Tuesday night when he dropped 50 points to lead the Boston Celtics to an NBA play-in tournament game win over the Washington Wizards.

It was Tatum's third game this season scoring 50-plus points. It came at the perfect time, too, as the victory clinched the C's a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs as the No. 7 seed in the first round, where they'll play the Brooklyn Nets.

Forsberg: Tatum's heroics serve as important reminder for Celtics

One of the many people impressed with Tatum's epic performance was ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, who bestowed a ton of praise on the Celtics forward during Wednesday morning's episode of "First Take".

“I got to give praise to Jayson Tatum, who put the world on notice and just reminded everybody the brother’s only 22,” Smith said. “He's dropping 50, he's averaging 26 a game as the No. 1 option for the Boston Celtics. Shooting 45 percent from the field and better than 38.5 percent from 3-point range. That dude is 22 years old.

"That’s the dude that (former 76ers president of basketball operations) Bryan Colangelo got hosed by Danny Ainge over when the Sixers had the No. 3 overall pick (in 2017) and wanted to move up to No. 1 so badly to pass on Jayson Tatum and pick Markelle Fultz instead. This is what we’re talking about here. Just imagine for one second, if Jayson Tatum was playing with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. They’re winning it all. They're winning it all. That’s how gifted this kid is, and he's only 22 years of age.”

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Tatum led the Celtics with 26.4 points and 4.3 assists per game during the regular season. He also was selected to the All-Star Game for the second year in a row and has a strong case to be included on one of the three All-NBA teams.

The Celtics will need several more dominant performances from Tatum if they're going to make their first-round playoff series versus the heavily-favored Nets a long one. Brooklyn has more offensive firepower than any team in the league thanks to their superstar trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.