Celtics’ Jaylen Brown gets brutally honest on Jayson Tatum partnership as trade rumors swirl
The Boston Celtics have taken a step back the past couple of seasons. The future looked blindingly bright with both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as their franchise cornerstones, making the Eastern Conference Finals in two of their first three campaigns together.
But they looked like a borderline playoff team, both this season as well as last. That’s understandably raised some questions about the viability of their All-Star duo to play with one another.
But Jaylen Brown is convinced that there’s still a future wherein the Celtics find success with both of them on the roster.
Via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps:
“I think we can play together,” said Brown after Boston’s revenge win over the New York Knicks on Saturday night. “We have played together well for the majority of our career and things like that. The last year or so hasn’t gone as expected, but I think a lot of the adversity that we’re kind of going through now is going to help us grow and get better in the future. If we get over this slump and continue to learn, I think there’s a lot of good basketball on the other side of this.”
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for the Celtics pairing. They’re both putting up All-Star numbers one again this season, but the wins just haven’t been there as Boston has seemingly let go of several winnable games. There have been concerns raised about overlapping skill sets and just an overall inability to mesh together as two ball-dominant wing scorers who play virtually the same position.
While it doesn’t solve everything, being able to be vocal with one another on playing together is huge as they try to make things work. According to Brown, the Celtics tandem is “on the same page” even though it doesn’t always look like it on the court.
“I only can control what I can control. I understand everybody has to do their jobs, but me and JT talk. We talked after the game, communicated with each other and things like that. So we’re on the same page. I get where all the other frustration comes from, but as long as I’m on the same page with him and he’s on the same page with me, that’s where we’re most focused on. So tonight we wanted to come out and get a win and we did it.”
The Celtics find themselves in the middle of the pack of a crowded Eastern Conference. Where they go from here in the standings could dictate just how long the Jaylen Brown-Jayson Tatum era lasts with both of them together.
They’re 19-21 and are holding onto the final play-in spot for dear life as a few teams breathe down their necks.
But at the same time, the view above them is just as muddled. The fifth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers are just four games up as we approach the NBA’s midway point. One solid stretch of wins could be enough to propel the Celtics back to one of the East’s bigger threats.