Losers of two straight, the Boston Celtics are looking to correct the record. Tonight’s foe: the Washington Wizards, similarly off to a 3-2 start to their 2022-23 season. We’re halfway through this one, and the Celtics are following a familiar script. A huge first quarter gave way to a leaky second, and the lead isn’t quite where it feels like it should be, as they lead by just 11 at the break, 58-47.
As always, it’s time to fire off some premature takes about what we’ve seen on the court this evening. Tonight, those takes are simply: Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are good.
The game plan early in this game: the Jays. A LOT of the Jays. The Celtics outscored the Wizards 34-15 in the first quarter, and between the two of them, Tatum and Brown accounted for 27 of those points. Until Malcolm Brogdon checked in with just under three minutes to play in the first, just one other Celtic even recorded a shot attempt — Marcus Smart, with a solitary layup.
This is unbalanced basketball, sure. But it’s also a reminder of just what can be possible with two players this talented. Both Tatum and Brown are off to electric starts to the new NBA season, with the former averaging 32 points per game on a blistering 69% TS% and the latter tacking on 26 of his own on 56% (dampened slightly by a tough outing against the Bulls).
As far as Marcus Smart is concerned, both should be firmly in the conversation for MVP, as he asserted in a recent interview with NBC Sports Boston.
“I think Jaylen Brown is [an MVP candidate], too. I think we don’t talk about that enough. Just as much as we talk about Jayson, you gotta talk about JB. Because he holds the fort down just as much. Especially nights where Jayson isn’t going, you can always depend on Jaylen to give you something. So I think, for us, and for this league, we need to really recognize what Jaylen has been doing and what he’s continued to do and the progression that he’s making and that player that he’s become.”
This is just flat-out dominance from the Celtics’ two stars, fully realized greatness that has been years in the making. Their ability to take control of games — individually or together — in an instant is the Celtics’ greatest weapon in their latest campaign for Banner 18. Thus far, tonight has been a very fun reminder of just how potent a weapon that can be.
As always, we want to hear your thoughts. As we wait out the halftime break, what has stood out to you as a takeaway from the Celtics’ first half against Washington? Let us know in the comments below.