Celtics

Celtics Talk Podcast: Who deserves the All-Star nod, Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum?

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Celtics Talk Podcast: Who deserves the All-Star nod, Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum?

Kemba Walker and the Boston Celtics got some great news on Thursday as it was announced the star C's guard would be a starter in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game.

Now, it's just a matter of which C's -- if any -- will join him.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are the two candidates for when the All-Star reserves are announced next Thursday. But which player is more deserving of the honor?

On the latest episode of the "Celtics Talk Podcast," Kyle Draper, A. Sherrod Blakely and Chris Forsberg debated who should get the All-Star nod between Brown and Tatum.

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Blakely made it clear he'd be stunned if Tatum doesn't get named to the squad.

We know Tatum is going to get in. That would be the shock of all shocks if he does not get voted in by the coaches. The thing I like about what is happening now is Tatum is making it a little bit easier because Jaylen, you know, he's had some bumps and bruises, missed some games, and Tatum has actually played really well in Brown's absence.

Forsberg agrees with Tatum getting a slight edge over Brown.

I've heard a lot of smart basketball people say that they believe Jaylen should be the All-Star for Boston and I'll admit I'm a little surprised. Because for me it's like a slam dunk for Tatum, and that's no disrespect to Jaylen Brown. I just think Tatum's been that good this season.

You can find out what Draper thinks of Blakely and Forsberg's choices in the podcast above (discussion begins at 3:00 mark).

For a 1-on-1 with Kemba Walker, more on the upcoming All-Star Game, and the Celtics' matchup against rookie phenom Zion Williamson on Sunday, check out the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, which drops weekly as part of the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

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Jayson Tatum forges key relationships at memorable first All-Star Game

Jayson Tatum forges key relationships at memorable first All-Star Game

CHICAGO -- In the days leading up to Sunday night’s 69th NBA All-Star game, Jayson Tatum, playing for Team LeBron, was intent on going at teammate and member of Team Giannis, Kemba Walker, every chance he could get. 

True to form, Tatum went right at Walker moments into the second quarter when both were on the floor together. 

He tried to take him into the post, but Walker wasn’t having it. 

Tatum then pulled up for a fadeaway jumper that was off the mark. 

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Chalk that up to one of the many memories Tatum will take away from his first All-Star appearance. 

Tatum would finish with six points while Walker tallied 23 as one of the key performers in Team Giannis' comeback that fell just short as Team LeBron escaped with a 157-155 win with the game-winning score coming on an Anthony Davis free throw. 

But when it comes to the NBA All-Star game, points, rebounds and assists mean little. 

More important are the relationships that are formed and in many instances, strengthened at such events. 

Tatum has been one of the players in his age group for years, so there are a number of All-Stars that he has had a prior connection to, prior to tonight’s game. 

But the one that has been arguably most important to his growth this season, has been that between him and Walker. 

“Kemba, that's my guy,” Tatum said. “Our relationship and friendship has grown a lot over this season so far, from USA basketball to playing on the Celtics to experiencing All-Star together. So it's been a good ride. We're enjoying it.”

Walker is playing in his fourth All-Star game, a player whose status among the NBA’s elite is well cemented. 

Prior to this season, Walker talked often about the growth he saw in Tatum’s game when they were Team USA teammates, along with fellow Celtics Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. 

Recognizing Tatum’s talent, that’s one thing. 

But more than anything, Walker has made a point of encouraging Tatum to continue striving for greatness, and not worry about how that will impact him.

“I’m good. I know who I am and what I can do in this league,” Walker told NBC Sports Boston recently. “Jayson’s really good and part of my job here, is to let him know how great he is and do whatever I can to help him be great all the time.”

During an interview with NBC Sports Boston during All-Star weekend, Walker echoed those sentiments about Tatum. 

“Like I’ve been saying all year, he’s a special talent,” Walker said. “He deserves to be here. I’m happy I’m able to share this one with him; especially his first one. This is the one he’s never going to forget, ever. I’m happy to be a part of it.”

How Kemba, Walker, Jayson Tatum fared in 2020 NBA All-Star Game

How Kemba, Walker, Jayson Tatum fared in 2020 NBA All-Star Game

The Boston Celtics were always guaranteed to get some sort of win in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. With Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum playing for Team Giannis and Team LeBron respectively, the C's effectively hedged their bets and were guaranteed one player in the winner's circle.

Of course, the result of the All-Star Game doesn't matter. But still, it's nice that the Celtics were in position to claim victory either way. And Tatum claimed the win when Team LeBron won by a final score of 157-155.

Walker and Tatum both put up nice offensive performances in a typically high-scoring All-Star Game that featured little-to-no defense until an exciting and intense fourth quarter.

The C's representatives comported themselves well. Here's a look at exactly how each did on Sunday night and some of their best highlights.

KEMBA WALKER

Walker was one of the offensive stars for Team Giannis, and he ended up leading the team in 3-point shooting. He went 5-of-11 from beyond the arc en route to a 23-point night. He wasn't asked to do as much as a distributor, as Trae Young and Kyle Lowry handled that role more, but Walker still managed three assists and three rebounds on the day.

JAYSON TATUM

Tatum had more of an understated role off the bench from Team LeBron. He still had some nice highlights, and his six points all came on dunks. He ended up playing 14 minutes and in addition to his six points, he had three assists, one rebound, and three steals in well-rounded performance.

Walker and Tatum will return to action for the Celtics later this week when they face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. Coverage of the game will begin at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Boston and can be streamed on the MyTeams App.