Magic Johnson Sounds Off on Celtics’ Success

Jaylen Brown

Getty Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics

After the Boston Celtics defeated the Phoenix Suns 125-98 on December 7, Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson sang the Celtics’ praises, especially in the wake of beating a team that was 16-8 heading into the game.

“The Boston Celtics are undeniably the best team in the NBA!! They had a 45-point lead in the 3rd quarter tonight against the Suns, and the Suns have the best record in the West!” Johnson tweeted.

With the win the Celtics improved to an NBA-best 21-5. They also sport the league’s best point differential (plus-8.8) as well as the league’s best net rating (plus-9.2 points per 100 possessions). Early-season concerns about their defense have disappeared with the Celtics allowing 110.8 points per 100 possessions, tied with the Chicago Bulls for the league’s eighth-best defensive rating.

Johnson’s praising the Celtics was well-timed: His tweet came on the birthday of former Celtics rival and close friend Larry Bird, who turned 66.

Jaylen Brown Praises Celtics Defense

During an postgame on-court interview with Abby Chin of NBC Sports Boston, Jaylen Brown singled out the Celtics’ improvement on defense.

“I think defensively, we’re starting to get back to ourselves. Like, being able to lock teams up, suffocate teams, and tonight that showed,” Brown said. “That defense led to our offense, and it was able to get some good baskets going. And then we put pressure on them, so we gotta keep going on the defensive side of the ball.”

Brown then urged a humble approach when asked about the Celtics’ depth.

“We got a good team,” we said. “We gotta stay healthy. We can’t get too big-headed. We gotta stay focused. It’s my job to continue to keep us level. We’ve got games to win so tonight was a good win and we gotta get ready for the next.”

Brown finished with 25 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals in 28 minutes against the Suns while sporting a plus/minus of plus-27, which was third behind Blake Griffin and Grant Williams.

Tatum Makes It Clear Winning It All Is Celtics’ Goal

During his postgame presser, Jayson Tatum said that the Celtics’ success thus far will all be for naught if they don’t win the title.

“None of this means anything if we don’t hang a banner,” Tatum said. “That’s the ultimate goal. It’s a step in the right direction every night the way we’re playing. I’m proud of that, but it’s a big win. It’s our place to win against a really good team, but ultimately we won so onto the next one.”

Tatum also made it clear that everyone is having fun playing together and they’re on the same page regarding what the Celtics’ priorities are this season.

“Everybody in the locker room understands what we’re trying to do. We realize that we got the best record. We’re 21-5. With that comes the decision every night to play the right way, play as hard as we can on both ends. I wouldn’t say we’re playing angry. We’re having a lot of fun, but the goal is still the same: Get back to the finals and get over that hump.”

Read More