Following the Celtics’ victory, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith shared his thoughts on Jayson Tatum’s current level of play, noting how the St. Louis native should be a leading candidate for the MVP award this season.
“I think it’s time for us to start talking about Jayson Tatum as a leading candidate for league MVP honors. He’s averaging 30 on better than 45% shooting. He’s putting on a show on a night-in-night-out basis. Jaylen Brown is no joke either, but Jayson Tatum is clearly the star of this basketball team, they’re clearly the best team in the Eastern Conference right now,” Smith said.
Against Dallas, Tatum helped the Celtics with a statline of 37 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks while shooting 45.8% on 11-of-24 shooting from the field, in what was another strong performance from the 24-year-old rising superstar.
Marcus Smart Heaps Praise on Jaylen Brown
Tatum wasn’t the only member of the Celtics roster to impress during their victory over the Mavericks, as Jaylen Brown was also playing at an elite level, and finished the contest with 31 points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals while shooting 72.2% from the field and 66.7% from deep.
Speaking to the media during his post-game press conference, Marcus Smart shared his belief that Brown is capable of challenging for MVP honors when he performs as he did against Dallas.
“The things that he’s doing when he’s at his best, is the same thing JT’s doing at his. You know, JT has been in the talks for the MVP race, and when JB is playing the way he’s playing at his highest peak, he’s in that race too…We got two sharpshooters that can do some damage. So, I’m saying, when JB is playing at his highest, he’s an MVP candidate as well,” Smart said.
Brown has shown some serious improvements to his game over the last 18 months and is currently averaging 25.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 50% from the field and 35.1% from deep, so, if the Georgia native can maintain his current level of performances, and continue to improve, Smart may be proven right in the coming years.
Luka Doncic Believes Tatum & Brown are NBA’s Best Duo
When speaking to the media following Dallas’ loss, Luka Doncic spoke glowingly of the Celtics star duo, sharing his belief that Tatum and Brown are the best duo in the NBA right now.
“They’re probably the No. 1 team in the league, and they probably have the best duo in the league, too…Just watching their game. I think a lot of people can see that. I think the way they play. I know people try to separate them but they fit together, they went to the Finals last year, so I think those two are really great players,” Doncic said.
The Celtics are aiming to return to the NBA Finals at the first time of asking, with the hope that they can go one step further and finally lift that elusive 18th championship banner, so, having both Tatum and Brown performing at All-Star level is an incredibly encouraging sign this early in the season.