Tatum vs. Doncic: A Showdown of Young Superstars in the NBA

Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic are both young superstars in the NBA, but their skillsets differ. Tatum excels as a scorer and defender, known for his smooth shooting and ability to create his own shot. Doncic, on the other hand, is a phenomenal playmaker with elite passing vision and a knack for scoring in bunches. While Tatum has the edge defensively, Doncic's offensive orchestration is unparalleled. Both are crucial to their respective teams' success, making them a compelling matchup to watch.


Jayson Tatum's critics are mad he's not somebody else. They are wondering why is he not as energetic as Jaylen Brown or ruthless like Kobe Bryant? But if the NBA Finals have proven anything, it's that maybe we should start celebrating Tatum for who he is: a chill, no-drama superstar.

The Finals have been the perfect stage to highlight Tatum's calm and composed nature, especially when juxtaposed against his foil in the series. Entering the series, Luka Doncic had been considered the best player on the floor, the archetype for a franchise cornerstone, and a top contender for MVP.

The 2024 scoring champion, Jayson Tatum, has proven himself to be an exceptional talent, wielding control over games with his impressive offensive skills. His consistent performances have not only captivated fans but also caught the attention of online sports bettors. These bettors appreciate the reliability Tatum brings to high-stakes games, making him a popular choice in the online NBA betting community. His ability to perform under pressure makes him a standout player and a favored pick among those looking to place informed bets on basketball games."

However, Doncic is also notorious for his fits of temper and unpredictable mood swings that, at times, hurt his team. The bottom line is that he acts like a child.

Doncic's petulance was on full display in Game 3 on Wednesday when he helped Dallas coast to a 13-point lead just minutes into the first quarter. After his shots stopped falling, so did his effort. He spent much of the rest of the night complaining to the referees as the Celtics completed the comeback.

Twice, Doncic hung around on the floor following non-calls and gave up easy inlays to the Celtics. Then he fouled twice needlessly on Jaylen Brown with under two minutes left in the game when the Dallas deficit was cut to one from 21, getting him disqualified.


The Mavericks disputed both calls, but while the first foul looked like a wrestling move, the second call was confirmed upon review. The fouls, however, were pretty avoidable and came out of recurrent mistakes due to the persistent defense by the Celtics exploiting Doncic's defensive lapses throughout the series.

Afterward, Doncic didn't help his case by tattling on the referees rather than taking responsibility. "We couldn't play physically," Doncic complained. "I don't know. I don't want to say anything. Six fouls in the NBA Finals.. C'mon, man. Be better than that."

In contrast, Tatum has been composed. For instance, except when he likes to lobby with the referees, Tatum doesn't get ruffled. His behavior in press conferences is as calm and respectful as possible, which mirrors his on-court demeanor.

By and large, however, most of them still want Tatum to become more of a "killer" like Doncic, not considering that Tatum had a much more excellent résumé during the playoffs.

Doncic is known for foul language directed at the opposing fans, trash-talking defenders, and often plays with a scowl. He comes off the court on almost every play, acting like he is in the schoolyard looking to intimidate. In sharp contrast, Tatum rarely talks trash. His post-shot celebration, "The Kiss of Death," always felt outside his personality. He started doing it for his son, Deuce, and it's better called "The Goodnight Kiss.". Far from having a soft game, Tatum demonstrated that clearly when Doncic flopped for his sixth foul just after being sniped by Tatum, who promptly soared above three defenders to seal the win and put an end to the Mavericks' heavenly comeback. Sure, Tatum might look calm; his asymptotes of power and decisiveness—on every play—are bullhorn loud.

As the Celtics work on ending the series Friday night, let's just appreciate Tatum for Tatum: low-key, humble, and unapologetically himself. Maybe after all these years, we can just start viewing his sort of understated personality not as a weakness but as one of his strengths. That focused, no-nonsense approach is personified in the Celtics and their leader, and that path beckons toward history.

This finals’ matchup is interesting in several ways but perhaps the most striking is the clash of the titans making it really difficult to make precise basketball predictions. Tatum and his teammates in the Celtics were on the stage in 2022 when they were defeated by Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors team. Doncic and the Mavericks, however, also tasted defeat to Golden State the same year in the Western Conference Finals.

While this is Doncic’s first Finals, this is the second time Tatum enters the Finals of the championship. The Celtics will do their best to capitalize on this as they take on the very skilled Mavericks in the biggest stage that the NBA offers.

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