There is no question that Jayson Tatum has taken the NBA world by storm this season. The third year player now averages 23.6 points per game after averaging 15.7 points per game in his second season. Before the season was suspended, Tatum seemed to be in national headlines on a nightly basis and he was constantly being compared to other superstars. With that being said, there is another young star on the Celtics who doesn’t get talked about nearly enough: Jaylen Brown.
In the 2017-18 season the Celtics went on one of the more memorable playoff runs in recent history. After losing both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, the young Celtics got all the way to game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against LeBron James and the Cavaliers. There is no question that this was when Tatum showed the world that he was for real, but there is misconception that the rookie was winning these games all by himself. While Tatum averaged 18.5 points per game in the 2017-18 playoffs, his teammate Jaylen Brown averaged 18.0. The two players carried the scoring load evenly, each picking each other up when one of them had an off game. On top of that, Brown was given the job of guarding the best player on each opposing team during the playoffs, something Tatum never had to do. This was no easy task considering the Celtics played Giannis and the Bucks, Simmons and the Sixers, and last but not least, LeBron and the Cavs. Despite all the hard work he had to do on defense, Brown still sustained offensive numbers that were very similar to Tatum.
Comparisons between these two players can be made in a similar way based on this season. Tatum has every right to be praised for his success, as he has clearly solidified himself as a star and he was very deserving of becoming an all-star. That being said, let’s not forget that Jaylen Brown is also averaging over 20 points per game (20.4) and has had many clutch moments of his own. We love to relive Tatum’s iconic moments, but seem to ignore the fact that another Celtic has had so many of these moments as well. As amazing as Tatum’s game tying shot against the Clippers was, Brown’s had multiple cold-blooded shots as well which people don’t talk about enough. Tatum’s shot against the Clippers and his dunk over LeBron were great but why can’t we talk about Brown’s game tying shot against the Rockets or his game winner a couple years ago in Utah? And you might’ve forgotten if I didn’t include the picture, but Brown had his own monster dunk over LeBron. At the end of the day, although Tatum is an amazing talent he is part of a duo that features another young star who deserves more recognition. Although he wasn’t an all-star and isn’t nearly as popular as Tatum, we have to stop overlooking Jaylen Brown’s productivity.
I’m not trying to downplay Tatum’s greatness as he is definitely one of the best young players in the game and he has a very bright future. I am simply here to tell you that Jaylen Brown also has superstar caliber potential and is just as important to the Celtics’ success.