The Boston Celtics are officially ahead of the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference standings. They are now tied with the Toronto Raptors for the sixth seed.
With their win over the Nets on Tuesday night, Boston notched their sixth victory in a row and their eighth in nine games. The two guys leading the charge? Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
The former will be starting the All-Star game this year, while the latter was not selected for the event. But Brown doesn’t seem too bothered by the snub, and he told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes that he’s happy to see Tatum “hold it down” for the both of them.
“JT is going to hold it down for both of us. That’s what family do.”
Over the Celtics’ last nine games, the pair has combined to average 50.2 points per contest. Not only that, but they have also focused on making the right plays. Brown talked about how he and Tatum have improved at dealing with double teams as of late.
“Just being able to make the right plays and taking your time and learning and growing through those times has been great. I’ve grown a lot, I’ve gotten better, and I’ve been able to watch JT grow a lot as well. It’s been fun to watch and be a part of.”
In that same nine-game stretch, Tatum is averaging 5.6 assists and Brown is putting up 3.6, ranking second and third on the team, respectively.
After a bumpy start to the season. Boston now sits six games above .500 and looks primed to make a serious run in the Eastern Conference. Brown showed some love to his teammates for their perseverance this year.
“I am proud of our guys, for continuing to be persistent, to keep going. Navigating through the pressure of being in Boston, and the expectation levels. It’s not an easy thing to do.”
Perception of the team has certainly improved compared to earlier points in the season. Just a month ago, the conversation was primarily focused on whether the team should sell at the deadline and completely reshape the roster. Ultimately, winning changes everything.
That being said, Brown isn’t content with the team’s recent success. He’s hungry for more.
“I’m proud that we’re finding ways to win games now. But we really ain’t got a lot to be proud about. We got a lot of games left, we gotta keep going.”
Brown was asked about how it felt to beat up on a team that crushed them earlier in the season, but just as he stated in the previous response, all he cares about is the road ahead.
“No satisfaction whatsoever. I just keep saying it over and over again - one game at a time. That’s it. And that’s where we have to keep our focus. There’s nothing to get happy about, we can’t lose our edge, can’t get comfortable, can’t get satisfied.”
The C’s just wrapped up a stretch of games against the Detroit Pistons, the Orlando Magic, and an injury-plagued Nets squad. Now, the degree of difficulty will raise. In the upcoming stretch, they’ll take on the Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks, and Philadelphia 76ers in what many see as “prove it” games regarding their recent play.
Their tilt against the Nuggets tips off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night.