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Udoka stresses need for leadership. He didn't mean himself.

 Rookie Coach Ime Udoka has taken a lot of heat early this season, but very little from me. I think his critics don't cut him enough slack.


Right to the point - as always! After the last-second loss to the Knicks last night, Udoka broached what I have argued all along - this team desperately needs an on-court leader. In Ime's words:

"We need some leadership - someone who can calm us down."

Absolutely, coach. Udoka should have inserted the phrase "on-court" before the word "leadership" so his naysayers would not have the opportunity to continue their barrage. Take a quick look at what The Celtic Knight wrote in a guest article prior to coming to my rescue as the sole writer for Celtics Sentinel:

I feel, given his growth every season, this will be the year that Jayson ascends into that prototypical Celtics leader Boston fans know and love. And perhaps with a little of his own spin to it. Tatum's time is NOW!

These thoughts were written a half-year ago, but they still ring true. Jayson Tatum is transcendent - can score at will in so many ways - has become a fierce rebounder and willing (and adept) facilitator. Last night, he had nine assists and six boards to go with his 36 points with 57% and 54% accuracy from the field and beyond the arc, respectively.

Tatum will turn 24 in March and he may be the sole "can't-let-him-go" player on the Celtics roster. But on-court leadership of The Green may take a little more time. I have seen more of "The Warrior" in him lately, along with unselfishness and intensity. "His time", if not now, won't be far off.


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