Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have become arguably the league's best duo today, and they showed as much when they eviscerated the Houston Rockets' defense on Tuesday night. Brown led the way with 39 points, while Tatum almost matched him point for point with 38 to lead the Boston Celtics to a 128-102 victory. After scoring 30 points each yet again in the same game, the two add to their total of most 30-point games as a duo (18) that has them ranked third all-time, having surpassed Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen on that list a few days ago.
However, Jayson Tatum urged the media, ever the narrative-loving bunch, to pump the brakes when it comes to comparing him and Jaylen Brown to Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, especially when they have a long way to go before they even sniff the same kind of success the two achieved.
Moreover, he called out the media for being fickle, particularly after some pundits called for Boston to break up their superstar duo during a stretch last year where the Celtics struggled and played .500 ball.
“Last year y’all wanted to trade one of us, now you’re saying Mike and Scottie. We’re not as bad as you said but we’re not as good as Mike and Scottie,” Tatum said as he spoke with reporters after the game, per Jared Weiss.
Advocating for the Celtics to trade Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to be traded was always foolish. Players with their combination of size, skill, and athleticism don't just grow on trees. And to have two of them on the same team? That's always a recipe for winning basketball.
Nonetheless, Tatum's response here is perfect, with the right blend of confidence and humility. It's this disposition that allows him to get better every year, and maybe one day he could even win an MVP award as he continues to improve.
It may have taken a few years, but it has all come together for the Celtics' duo of Tatum and Brown. Winning a championship, much less six, remains a borderline impossible task, but with their superstar duo playing at their best, the Celtics have as good a chance as any team to climb the mountaintop and win the most coveted trophy in all of basketball.