"He's going to be in the lineup" - Kerr succumbs to irresistible display from new Golden State Warriors' sensation

Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors
Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The greatest player in franchise history may have lifted the Golden State Warriors to an overtime win against the Boston Celtics, but even Stephen Curry had to take a backseat to the story of rookie center Trayce Jackson-Davis on Tuesday night.

Facing arguably the best team in the league, head coach Steve Kerr labelled Jackson-Davis "the player of the game" as the 23-year-old played a key role in the Warriors overcoming a 17-point third-quarter deficit.

Steve Kerr has confirmed Trayce Jackson-Davis will be in the Golden State Warriors rotation after an irresistible display over the last two games

After a highly impressive 14 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in less than 18 minutes against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, fans were left bemused when Jackson-Davis didn't see the floor over the first 15 minutes of Tuesday's game.

Eventually inserted with 8:15 left in the second-quarter, Jackson-Davis made an immediate impact in helping the Warriors reduce an 11-point Boston lead to three by half-time. That was a sign of things to come, with the 57th overall pick producing an even more noteworthy display in the second-half.

The Indiana product would play over 15 minutes in the third and fourth-quarter, closing regulation alongside fellow youngster Jonathan Kuminga and the veteran trio of Curry, Chris Paul and Klay Thompson. He would then play the full five minutes of the overtime period, making big play after big play as Golden State turned the momentum.

Jackson-Davis had arguably the moment of the game, sending away Celtics' wing Jaylen Brown with a vicious rejection at the rim early in overtime. That followed a dunk of his own, sitting perfectly in the dunker's spot to be found by a driving Klay Thompson to extend the Warrior lead to four.

For many Golden State fans, the game was just a reinforcement of their frustration on Jackson-Davis' lack of minutes this season. Despite impressing almost every time he takes the floor, the athletic big man had played more than seven minutes just once in the previous 12 games before Sunday in Portland.

Amid the Warriors' statement that they may not be done as a force just yet, Jackson-Davis sent a statement of his own to Kerr, one that will be heeded much to the relief of fans.

""He was tremendous. He was the player of the game. There were several huge plays, obviously Steph's shot probably being number one...Trayce's block on Jaylen Brown, Kerr said in the postgame. But Trayce was the guy who shifted everything, +25 in his minutes. Second great game in a row. You can see the impact he makes so he's going to play, he's going to be in the lineup.""

Jackson-Davis finished Tuesday's game with his first career double-double -- 10 points and 13 rebounds that's allowed him to upgrade from the affectionate nickname of 'Baby T' to Trayce Jr. according to Klay Thompson.

More than the points and rebounds, Jackson-Davis' three blocks were a signal of the rim-protecting presence scarcely seen from someone in a Warrior uniform in recent times. He was a staggering +25 in just over 28 minutes -- for context, no other play in the game was more than a +10.

Fans are salivating at the thought of what the franchise has on their hands, and rightly so. If Jackson-Davis can do this, against this opponent, on this stage, in his 17th career game, then imagine what he might be able to produce once he gets further playing time and experience under his belt.

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