Boston’s Jayson Tatum was named an All-NBA third-team selection. Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

 

The list of Celtics’ players named to the All-NBA team during the first three years of their career is a short one, and Jayson Tatum joined that group when he was named to the All-NBA third team on Wednesday.

Ed Sadowski was the first one to do it with a spot on the first team in the 1947-48 season, which was his second year playing professionally and the franchise’s second year.

Ed Macauley made the first team his first three years, starting in the 1950-51 season, Bob Cousy, a 12-time selection, made the All-NBA first team a season later in his second year; and Bill Sharman, chosen seven times while with the Celtics, was on the second team in his second year in 1952-53.

Bill Russell began a string of 11 All-NBA appearances in his second season (1957-58) when he made the second team. John Havlicek, also an 11-time member, was on the second team in his second year (1963-64), and Dave Cowens was picked to the second team in his third season (1972-73).

During nearly 50 years since Cowens’ selection, only one member of the Celtics received All-NBA status three years or less into his career – Larry Bird. The Hall of Fame forward made the first team as a rookie in 1979-80, starting a streak of nine consecutive first-team selections while earning one second-team honor.

That group now has a ninth member after 22-year-old Tatum, in his third season, was picked to the All-NBA third team.

Tatum received the most points of the third-team choices with 32 second-place votes and 57 third-place votes. He is one of four players to make the All-NBA team for the first time, joining Luka Doncic (first team), Pascal Siakam (second) and Ben Simmons (third).

The third pick in the 2017 draft increased his scoring average (23.4 from 15.7), rebounding average (7.0 from 6.0) and assists average (3.0 from 2.1) in emerging as the Celtics’ top player this season.

He has excelled in the playoffs, which continue with Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Thursday night against the Miami Heat at Disney World. In the first 12 games, Tatum averaged 25.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.3 blocked shots while shooting 41 percent from 3-point range. The last time the Celtics had a player average a double-double in the playoffs was 2013 when Kevin Garnett had 12.7 points and 13.7 rebounds in an opening-round loss to the New York Knicks.

The Celtics have watched Tatum grow all season, beginning last October, and now his is one of the top 15 players to earn All-NBA status.

“We expect it now,” said Kemba Walker. “He’s a superstar. He’s been showing it night in and night out. He’s a special talent.”

KANTER SITTING: Enes Kanter had played 47 straight postseason games for the Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers and the Celtics through the first round this season.

But after playing all four games in the opening-round sweep of the Philadelphia 76ers, the center had DNPs in six of the past eight games. He appeared in two games against the Toronto Raptors, getting eight total minutes.

Robert Williams has emerged as the backup center to Daniel Theis. Kanter signed a two-year, $10 million contract in the summer of 2019 and has a player option for 2020-21.

AFTER THURSDAY: The Celtics and Heat resume their series with Game 3 at 8:30 on Saturday night.

Game 4 will likely be played on Monday, but since ESPN has Monday Night Football, the Celtics and Heat may be tipping off at 5 p.m. that day.

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