The Boston Celtics continued their excellent start to the season on November 30, defeating the Miami Heat 134-121, courtesy of a 49-point night from Jayson Tatum and a 26-point outing from Jaylen Brown.
When speaking to the media following Boston’s victory, Tatum gave his thoughts on if he and Brown are currently the best duo in the NBA.
“That’s a good question…Whatever that means. I believe in him, his ability, and the things that he can do. And, we’ve obviously shown that we can play together at a high level and have great success. I guess it looks that way (that we’re the best duo in the NBA), I guess that’s for you guys to decide. We never talk about that. We want to be the best team, and we want to win a championship. Along the way, if we’re the best duo, we’ll take it,” Tatum said.
Both Tatum and Brown are currently playing at an All-Star level, and are giving the Celtics a significant boost on both ends of the floor. So, while Tatum may not care much for the label of ‘league’s best duo,’ there’s certainly an argument to be made for Boston’s pair of wings to be in that conversation moving forward.
Malcolm Brogdon Labels Tatum MVP Front Runner
When speaking to the media following the Celtics’ latest victory, Malcolm Brogdon shared his belief that Tatum is currently leading the MVP race, and that his year-on-year improvements have been impressive to witness from afar and up close.
It’s incredible, man. We’ve gotten to play him a good amount in my career and he’s taken a giant step every year. And to play the way he did last year, to be in the MVP race at times last year, and then to take the jump he’s taken this year has been pretty incredible to watch. Undoubtedly, he should be leading the MVP race right now. He’s playing at a superstar level,” Brogdon said.
Since joining the Celtics this past summer, Brogdon has been an integral member of the team’s bench rotation, providing them with 14.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 49.3% from deep and 50.5% from two-point range, arguably placing him in the race for Sixth Man of the Year.
Executive Wants Brown to Limit Turnovers
Brown might be having one of the best years of his career in terms of offense, but his playmaking limitations still rear their head from time to time, especially when he tries to dribble into traffic in the half-court.
When speaking to Heavy on Sports’ Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, an Eastern Conference Executive discussed how tightening up his ball handling and passing should be the primary focus for Brown in the coming months.
“The thing that is still something to worry about, is his turnovers. He still gets into a mode where he tries to force the action too much and they operate so much better when they’re making three, four, or five passes in a possession. He is capable of taking over a game by just attacking, attacking, attacking, but a defense can read that and strip the ball. You can live with four or five turnovers from James Harden or Kevin Durant because they’ve got the ball so much, but Jaylen is the No. 2 option, he should not have those kind of turnover numbers,” the Executive said.
Still, Brown is operating at an elite level to begin the season, and given his minimal role as a playmaker, those limitations shouldn’t stop him from being named to an All-Star team and potentially fighting for an All-NBA spot toward the end of the season. Most importantly, though, Brown is playing exactly how the Celtics need him to, and that gives them the best chance of having team success throughout the regular season and in the playoffs.