Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum knew something had to change if they were to bounce back from Tuesday's tough loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Prior to Wednesday's game vs. the New York Knicks, the two Boston Celtics stars had an important conversation about what the team needed to accomplish. Apparently it was effective, as Brown and Tatum tallied 32 and 25 points respectively to lead the C's to a 101-99 victory.
After the win, Brown detailed what he told Tatum in the discussion.
“Yesterday was a tough one for us. That wasn’t our best showing,” Brown said. “So, I talked to JT (Jayson Tatum) before the game and we almost had to just forget about everything. And I just said, ‘Let’s just come out and play basketball. Be aggressive. Be our best version of ourselves.’
“There’s so much outside noise, so many things shifting around, I just needed to come out and be Jaylen. Our team played great together tonight."
Despite the letdown loss to Philadelphia, Brown showed up to TD Garden on Wednesday with a positive mindset. That prompted the 24-year-old to initiate the conversation with Tatum.
"Soon as we came in my energy was upbeat,” Brown said. “I had a conversation with him like, ‘We know yesterday was not our best showing, but like, let’s just play basketball. I got you, you got me. Let’s run, let’s be us and have a great game.’
“I think that’s kind of what got things going for us. (Marcus) Smart led the way with his energy, as well. ... Everybody stepped up and made big plays in big moments… That’s what we needed as a team.”
Tatum shared his side of the conversation, repeating Brown's emphasis on tuning out all of the noise.
"We just talked about trying to get back on track, trying to get back in the win column, forget about last game," Tatum said. "I mean we’re both two driven individuals that kind of both know, when we’re down, what we need to do to get ourselves back going. It was real brief just saying, ‘Let’s just forget about last game, forget about, I guess, what everybody is saying. Let’s just get a win.’ That’s all we can control.”
The pep talk paid off as the Celtics are back to .500 (26-26) on the season after their win over the Knicks. They'll hope to carry that momentum into Friday night when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves at 7:30 p.m. ET.