Jayson Tatum's defense on Jimmy Butler key to Celtics' win over 76ers


Jayson Tatum receives a lot of praise for his scoring prowess, and rightly so, as the Boston Celtics forward can beat opponents in so many ways at the offensive end of the floor.

The second-year star's defense, however, is what separates him from a lot of talented young players.

Tatum spent a lot of time guarding Jimmy Butler during Boston's Christmas Day showdown against the Philadelphia 76ers, and he more than held his own versus the Sixers' best perimeter scorer. Here's a look at the 1-on-1 matchup from NBC Sports Boston Celtics insider A. Sherrod Blakely:

Blakely also noted Tatum had a team-best 88.0 defensive rating in the Celtics' 121-114 overtime win against the 76ers. 

Tatum also poured in 23 points, but again, it was his defense that most impressed. In addition to his work on Butler, Tatum also grabbed 10 rebounds, including a tough one in overtime against 76ers forward Wilson Chandler that led to a Kyrie Irving 3-point shot that put the C's up for good. 

Check out the play in the video below:

Tatum will continue to be a focal point of the Celtics offense as arguably the second-best offensive player on the team. If he can make a similar impact defensively, the Celtics will be an even tougher team to beat come playoff time.

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