Celtics’ Marcus Smart addresses how Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown can bounce back
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart gave some sound insight on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, two of his young teammates who blossomed early and then struggled to maintain the same rhythm and efficiency that made them such an integral part of a Celtics team that came a win shy of the 2018 NBA Finals.
The three have been working with Team USA alongside new teammate Kemba Walker, all hoping Tatum and Brown can regain the form they had before stagnating last season:
“For them, and for any player that comes in as hot as they did, there’s going to be a lot of expectations the following year,” Smart told Michael Lee of The Athletic. “Everybody hits that wall where they go up and come right back down. For them, it’s learning that, ‘Okay, I hit the wall, what can I do differently?’ And just keeping the same mindset.
“A lot of people say doing the same thing over and ever and expecting different results is insanity. But for basketball players and athletes, we call that working. That’s it. Just ‘cause it wasn’t falling, you don’t change anything, you keep doing the things that you did you get you here and tweak it a little bit and turn it up a little bit more and that’s what these guys are doing. They’re young and they’re going to find out.”
Consistency is often something most players in the league have issues with, as different matchups, formations and stretches of the season can lead to slumps shooting the ball or making the right decisions. Smart has faced plenty of that early on in his career, but he has always found a way back to his roots as a defensive stopper and a disruptive force of nature:
“Their minds are clear,” Smart said of his two younger teammates. “That just shows the maturity and growth. They could have come in and had a negative attitude about everything but they’re ready got get going, keep working and stay positive.”
The hope is that even if all four of them don’t make the final 12-man cut prior to the 2019 FIBA World Cup, the experience of playing alongside high-caliber players will make Tatum and Brown stronger, as iron has proved to sharpen iron, even if it isn’t on their own practice floor.