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Jeff Goodman: Celtics won't succeed “until Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown learn to play together”

With the Celtics scrambling to find their ground, Jeff Goodman has had it with the excuses.

Boston Celtics vs Milwaukee Bucks Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

This season has been a rocky road for the Boston Celtics, and unlike the ice cream, there’s been nothing sweet about it. The C’s currently sit under .500 and project to be fighting for the play-in by the time the season wraps up.

Health has been a major factor, though, as the Celtics have been affected by COVID-related absences more than any team in the 2021 calendar year. Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Grant Williams, and more have missed time in health and safety protocols. Combine that with injuries to Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams, and the injury bug has hit the Celtics hard.

However, Gary Tanguay joined the crew on the latest Bob Ryan and Jeff Goodman Podcast on CLNS Media with an interesting stat to present:

“Here’s a note I saw in The Globe from Adam Himmelsbach. With Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Marcus Smart, and Rob Williams. They’ve only played 87 minutes together over eight games this season, outsourcing opponents by 20.6 points per 100 possessions.”

While this group hasn’t played much together, they’ve been phenomenal when they are all healthy. The ever-optimistic Ryan revealed his reaction when he saw the statistic.

“I arched a major eyebrow when I read that. I said, ‘oh, maybe there’s still hope.’ So, I’m going to remain optimistic that they can be better if they ever get those guys together.”

While Ryan may be trying to stay positive, Goodman took a different approach. He rolled his eyes when Ryan spoke about his optimism. Goodman is tired of using injuries as an excuse for this Celtics team.

“I don’t want to hear the injury excuse. We’ve seen this before. We’ve seen this movie before. And we hear it over and over and over. ‘They haven’t been healthy. They’re snake-bitten more than any team.’ I’m tired of hearing it.”

Injuries have plagued the Celtics for the better part of four seasons now whether it’s been Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Williams, or Brown. But the C’s have also had plenty of time to put things together with the time they’ve spent together on the court.

For this reason, Goodman has seen enough. According to him, this version of the Celtics is not going to work unless one of two things happen:

“I know this doesn’t work until they get a point guard in. Or until Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown learn to play together.”