How Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown have set the tone for Celtics with sacrificial play

Jayson Tatum’s scoring common is down. A 12 months after he grew to become the primary participant in Celtics historical past to common 30 factors per sport in a season, his common is down by practically three factors. Same goes for $300 million man Jaylen Brown, whose scoring common is down by greater than 4 factors and at its lowest in 4 years.

They don’t care.

“We’re winning,” Tatum mentioned after the Celtics improved to a league-best 17-5 file with Tuesday’s win over the Cavaliers. “We’re the best team in the league, so winning takes care of everything.”

With probably the most gifted roster within the NBA following the acquisitions of Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday this offseason, Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla has challenged his group to sacrifice their egos within the pursuit of a championship. His high two stars have embraced that.

Tatum was reportedly the one who organized the preseason assembly to debate who amongst their gifted high six would come off the bench, a dialog that in the end resulted in Al Horford being the person neglected of the beginning 5 however strengthened that everybody should be keen to make sacrifices to achieve their final objective. Tatum even tweeted that he “told them 1 game this season I’m coming off the bench,” although it stays to be seen if and when that occurs.

But whereas he hasn’t come off the bench but, Tatum is backing his phrase up with sacrificial play. He’s much less within the particular person numbers and factors he places up, and extra about impacting the sport in different areas that won’t essentially present up within the field rating or spotlight reels on social media. As the most effective participant on the Celtics, he has taken duty in that and it’s translated to the remainder of his teammates. He understands, possibly greater than anybody, that success goes to look completely different each night time for the Celtics.

“Joe often challenges me to just dominate the game,” Tatum mentioned. “I understand the dynamic of our team and just how talented we are offensively. Myself, JB, D-White, KP, Jrue, Al, everybody has to sacrifice. I’m certain that none of us are averaging career highs in points. They’re all taking a dip. But it’s for the better of the team, our success as a unit is more important, and we understand that. We know what the ultimate goal is, and human nature plays a part. It’s not easy when you’re accustomed to playing a certain way, scoring a certain amount of points per game. You kind of have to empathize for every guy that it’s not easy but we’re winning, and we know we’re gonna need everybody to achieve our ultimate goal. So, it is true, success looks different every night for each guy. But everybody’s contributing at a high rate.”

Mazzulla has been heaping reward on Tatum and Brown for what he described because the duo empowering their teammates. He did so after Friday’s win over the Knicks, when within the first quarter Tatum didn’t rating any factors and Brown had solely taken three pictures. “And you couldn’t tell because they were doing other stuff,” Mazzulla mentioned, like facilitating and getting their teammates concerned. Mazzulla mentioned that steadiness and connectivity is crucial for the Celtics’ success.

It was on show once more in Tuesday’s win over the Cavs. After Porzingis had what he described as a “terrible” first half during which he missed all six of his pictures, Mazzulla praised Tatum and Brown for ensuring the massive man obtained concerned within the second half. As a consequence, Porzingis scored 19 of his 21 factors within the second half whereas Tatum and Brown impacted the sport in different methods.

“When you have guys like Jaylen and Jayson that understand in order for us to get to where we want to go, (Porzingis has) got to play a part in it,” Mazzulla mentioned. “So Kristaps has to be better, but I thought the empowerment of Jaylen and Jayson, even though they were both playing well, they got him the ball in his spots as necessary, and he was able to make plays.”

From the skin, Tatum and Brown won’t get a ton of credit score due to their comparatively modest stat strains for his or her means, however Mazzulla believes their means to play group basketball will get missed.

Celtics’ Jaylen Brown responds to ESPN’s shock criticism

Mazzulla identified that Tatum is without doubt one of the higher screeners within the league and so they monitor the display assists they produce, which clearly doesn’t get proven within the field rating. Brown just lately obtained criticized for producing zero assists throughout two video games however Mazzulla expressed that he thinks assists are one of the crucial deceptive stats as a result of it requires the shot to be made and doesn’t imply that Brown wasn’t passing or making the proper learn. He identified that his potential assists in these video games confirmed that he was making the proper performs for his teammates.

Mazzulla talked about different examples of how Tatum and Brown are making particular person sacrifices. Perhaps the most important impediment for the Celtics of their chase for Banner No. 18 is egos getting in the way in which on a group affected by expertise. But by way of 22 video games, they’re doing the proper issues. Tatum and Brown have set the tone.

“I think it’s so hard for those two guys because they’re constantly judged by this. It’s like, you just look at this and they’re constantly judged by the three or four loud plays,” Mazzulla mentioned. “And they’re not checked out as, like, studying find out how to play basketball. …

“These two have to navigate being All-Stars on a good team and that goes overlooked in today because it’s like there’s two All-Stars and a bunch of role players. And we have four, five, six All-Stars and a really well-balanced team. And we can’t be who we (are) if those guys don’t have the humility to be who they are and at the same time make each other better.”

Injury report

Brown is questionable for Thursday’s rematch towards the Cavaliers because of a sprained left ankle he suffered in Tuesday’s win. Brown missed a dunk close to the tip of the primary half and landed awkwardly on his ankle. He headed straight to the locker room and returned for the beginning of the second half with none obvious limitations.

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