No Jayson Tatum, no problem. The Boston Celtics were absolutely dominant on Sunday without their franchise superstar, cruising to a massive 137-93 win over the lowly San Antonio Spurs. With Tatum out, Jaylen Brown took the bull by the horns and continued his torrid run, balling out for 41 points in 36 minutes of action to lead the way. Following the victory, teammate Malcolm Brogdon made a strong prediction on one accolade Brown will receive at the season’s end.
Via The Athletic:
“He’ll be All-NBA,” said Brogdon. “He’ll make one of the teams this year.”
There’s definitely a case. Brown is on another level lately, averaging 31.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in his last eight outings. That includes a 41% clip from three-point land. Dominant, to say the least. For the campaign, he’s putting up a career-high 27 points a night and alongside Tatum, the C’s have arguably the most lethal star duo in the Association.
Making the All-NBA team obviously comes down to production, but actually playing enough games is also important. He’s managed to stay relatively healthy, suiting up in 63 of the team’s 75 contests. If he plays every game to finish out the campaign, Brown will hit 70 appearances. That’s crucial for his chances of earning the honor.
Plus, making All-NBA could very well be important for his contract extension talks with the Celtics this summer. A supermax may be in the cards.
C’s head coach Joe Mazzulla spoke on Brown’s growth this season and has noticed how he’s turned into much more than just a scorer:
“I just think he’s always had the ability to score, but now he has the ability to break defenses down, to understand how the defense is guarding him, to anticipate where the help is coming from, and then to make the right play,” Mazzulla said. “And so to me, his scoring is obviously huge for us, but his decision-making and his reads have gotten a lot better. It’s a credit to him because he works at it every single day.”
If Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are playing at a high level along with the contributions of key role players like Brogdon, the sky is the limit for Boston in the postseason.