It’s hard not to get giddy over the sensational play of young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown through two postseason games.
And their Celtics teammates are sharing in the excitement that many fans are feeling over the franchise’s young stars.
The Celtics had a front row seat to another Tatum and Brown spectacle Wednesday night, when the dynamic duo was yet again front and center in helping Boston dismantle the Philadelphia 76ers, 128-101, to take a 2-0 opening round series lead.
A game after setting a new postseason career high in scoring, the 22-year-old Tatum reset that mark in the victory by pouring in 33 points, including draining a ridiculous 8-of-12 attempts from beyond the arc. Tatum added five rebounds and five assists as well. Brown, still just 23 even though he's in his fourth year in the NBA, also had a second consecutive strong outing by netting 20 points and grabbing five rebounds, too.
The steep rise in play from Tatum and Brown hasn't come as a surprise to their teammates, but they are still in awe in how they both continually deliver in a big way, especially to start these playoffs.
“He’s a superstar,” Walker said of Tatum. “He’s been showing it night in and night out. He just makes the right reads. He’s a special talent as well as Jaylen. Jaylen’s a superstar as well. Those two guys are phenomenal basketball players.
“I love being around those two guys. I love the way they play basketball. I love how much they love the game of basketball. It’s just really fun to be around those two guys. Really, really special dudes.”
Kemba: "(Tatum) is a superstar. He’s a superstar. ... Jaylen’s a superstar as well. ... I love being around those two guys. I love the way they play basketball. I love how much they love the game of basketball. ... Really special dudes."— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) August 20, 2020
Here's the full quote: pic.twitter.com/pGRqNm4KRZ
Celtics big man Enes Kanter had nothing but love to spread to Tatum and rightfully so. Tatum’s red-hot shooting helped offset a slow start from the C’s and the eight 3-pointers Tatum finished with is tied for second most in a playoff game in franchise history, per Sean Grande.
MOST 3'S - CELTICS PLAYOFF GAME— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) August 20, 2020
9 - Ray Allen, 2009 G6 vs. Chicago
8 - Paul Pierce, 2002 G5 vs. Philadelphia
8 - Ray Allen 2011 G3 vs. New York
8 - Ray Allen 2008 G6 vs. LA Lakers
8 - JAYSON TATUM, 2020 G2 vs. Philadelphia
For Kanter, it isn’t just about Tatum’s ability to put in the ball in the hoop at a high volume that has elevated Tatum into a stratosphere of the NBA’s elite players.
“Jayson Tatum’s unbelievable, man. I have no words for him,” Kanter said. “This guy is just bringing so much — not just on the court — pure leadership. Every time he's out there he's having fun. He's making himself better and he’s making everyone else better around him. That’s what makes you really special.”
Jayson Tatum flipped the switch and went off for 33 points tonight pic.twitter.com/ntbmXTiiqh— Boston Celtics (@celtics) August 20, 2020
Celtics rookie Grant Williams is also getting a first-hand look at the ascension of both Tatum and Brown. For Williams, it’s reassuring having Tatum and Brown as teammates, who have led by example with their incredible development from when they came into the league not too long ago.
“Jayson’s been phenomenal,” Williams said. “Even though he’s only a couple of months older than me, I still look up to him because he’s been in the league for three years, he’s provided in these moments. He’s been one of those guys who just continues to develop, continue to get better. I’m amazed to see a lot of things he not only does on the court, but what he’s going to be in the future.
“I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. He always gives me the confidence and the ability to play my game. Him and JB’s progression, they’re some young studs.”