Jaylen Brown’s injury was a big blow for the Boston Celtics as he is out for the rest of the season with a torn wrist ligament. He was in the midst of the best season of his career, making his first NBA All-Star Game. Although Brown is out for the remainder of the campaign, the Celtics still have a good shot in the NBA Playoffs.
Here are 3 reasons why the Celtics are still alive after Brown’s setback.
Celtics depth at the guard position
The Celtics’ incredible depth at the guard positions could help the struggle of losing Brown. With a rotation of Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Evan Fournier, and Payton Prichard, the Celtics have many options going forward. With Brown out, these guys will have more shots available and they will be key in any potential run.
Prichard has been a solid backup in his rookie year and will have to lead the bench unit if they want to have a deep run. Fournier has proved to be a good addition at the trade deadline as he has given them another scoring option. He is averaging 17.0 points per game and will likely see an increase to the 20 PPG range as he takes more shots.
Kemba Walker stepping up
Four-time All-Star Kemba Walker will need to get back to his former level. He was one of the top guards in the NBA just a few seasons ago and with the profilic Jaylen Brown sidelined, he really has to step up his game. Just two seasons ago he was averaging 25.6 points per game and he still has the talent to do that.
In addition, he has always been a clutch player and that is exactly what Beantown needs right now. His dribble moves allow him to get to any spot he wants to. He has a great finishing ability for his size and possesses a great jump shot at both the midrange and three-point line. Cardiac Kemba could be the X-factor in the postseason push of the Celtics.
Jayson Tatum playing at a superstar level
Jayson Tatum is absolutely playing at a superstar level and the Celtics need that. The two-time All-Star is in the middle of a breakout year, averaging career-highs of 26.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. Not to mention, the 22-year-old always manages to elevate his game in the NBA Playoffs. Tatum and Brown were one of the NBA’s top duos this season but with Brown out, Tatum will need to pick up the slack.
This could be Tatum’s iconic moment for all fans to see. In a tough Eastern Conference, if Tatum can lead the Celtics on a deep postseason run, it would put everyone on notice. Great players always have their pivotal moment where they rise to the challenge and exceed expectations. An example of this is when a young LeBron James took a weak Cleveland Cavaliers roster to the NBA Finals in the 2006-07 season. Everyone was expecting them to lose and in each series, LeBron would defy the odds and he took the Cavaliers all the way to the Last Dance. Like Tatum, LeBron was 22 years old at that time.
Jayson Tatum’s breakout moment could happen in this year’s NBA Playoffs and it would be an amazing development to witness, especially for Jaylen Brown.