NBA Execs Get Brutally Honest On Celtics Star Duo

Boston Celtics, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

After a slow start to the 2021-22 NBA season, in which they started 2-5, the Boston Celtics have begun turning things around. They have gone 8-3 since then, pushing themselves back into the thick of things in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

What makes this stretch even more impressive is that a majority of it came without Jaylen Brown in the lineup. Brown was dealing with an injury and missed eight games, but the team went 5-3 in that stretch. A big reason for their success is how the team performed defensively.

Boston has transformed into an elite defensive team as the season has gone on. It is the best formula for them to win games, as their offense has not consistently produced at a high level.

Part of the reason for the offensive struggles has been the absence of Jaylen Brown. Playing without an All-Star is never an easy thing to overcome. However, the Boston Celtics issues run deeper than that on the offensive side of the ball.

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This team will go as far as Brown and Jayson Tatum take it. To get to that next level, they need to step up their game, and according to one NBA executive, they are just not doing it right now.

“Jaylen and Jayson aren’t making anyone better,” a Western Conference scout said. “I put that on them.”

Yes, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are a dynamic duo that can carry the scoring load. But, the Boston Celtics need them to trust their teammates and get them more involved to become a more well-rounded team.

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Before this recent stretch of turning things around and a players-only meeting was held, Marcus Smart called out his All-Star teammates. Following a fourth-quarter collapse against the Chicago Bulls, Smart opened up on Brown and Tatum.

“Every team knows we are trying to go to Jayson and Jaylen, and every team is programmed and studies to stop Jayson and Jaylen. I think everybody’s scouting report is to make those guys try to pass the ball. They don’t want to pass the ball …

“They’re still learning, and we’re proud of the progress they are making, but they are going to have to make another step and find ways to not only create for themselves but create for others on this team.”

What the executive said and Smart’s criticisms are accurate. Both Brown and Tatum have seen their passing numbers drop thus far this season.

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Brown has seen his assist numbers fall from 3.4 to 2.5 thus far this season, while Tatum’s has dropped to 3.5 from 4.3. Their potential assists have dropped as well, with Brown now coming in at 4.7 after being at 5.4 last season and Tatum having 7.6 following 8.1.

That is not an encouraging sign for the outlook of this offense. If they want to return to the level of being contenders, those numbers are going to have to start picking back up. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are all-world performers, but to win a championship, they are going to need some help and it starts with them buying in more and elevating the play of their teammates.

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