Celtics

Two more Celtics crack SI's Top 50 Players list

Two more Celtics crack SI's Top 50 Players list

One year ago, Jaylen Brown was coming off a rookie season in which he averaged 6.6 points per game. Jayson Tatum was a 19-year-old making the leap to the NBA after just one season at Duke.

Now both young Celtic super-studs have been ranked in Sports Illustrated's Top 50 NBA Players for the upcoming season, with Brown coming in at No. 47 & Tatum ranking 39th.

Brown made a huge leap in his second year, finishing second on the team with 14.5 points per game (on 39.5% 3-point shooting) during the regular season before bumping that up to 18.0 points per game in the postseason. As SI points out, it's no surprise that other NBA teams were salivating over the prospect of prying Brown away from the Celtics in a trade.

Then there's Tatum, who blew away all expectations in his rookie year as he started all 99 games he played in, scoring 13.9 points per game (on 43.4% 3-point shooting) in the regular season and 18.5 ppg in the playoffs. It's no wonder that SI's Ben Golliver wrote this about Tatum: "Suddenly, the entire global basketball community was gushing like Tommy Heinsohn over Tatum’s poise, polish and gumption." Yep, sounds about right.

Brown and Tatum follow Terry Rozier on SI's Top 100 Players of 2019, after Rozier came in at No. 82. The Top 30 players on SI's list haven't been announced yet, but Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford will be included. Last year, Hayward came in at No. 16, Irving ranked 21st and Horford was 30th.

Celtics Talk Podcast: With Davis shipped to the Lakers, the Celtics might not be in as much trouble as you think

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Celtics Talk Podcast: With Davis shipped to the Lakers, the Celtics might not be in as much trouble as you think

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Chris Forsberg and A. Sherrod Blakely give their initial reactions to Anthony Davis being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for a handful of assets. Ultimately, it might have been too big of a risk.

4:16 - Brian Scalabrine joins the guys to give his take on how the Davis trade will affect the Boston Celtics this season. Will the young core of the Celtics be able to take down the new-look Lakers?

10:50 - With Kyrie likely gone and Davis' fate now decided, it looks like the Celtics won't acquire a top-tier talent. The question is, do they need a top-five player?

14:31 - Another huge piece of the Celtics roster is Al Horford, who may or may not want to stay in Boston now that Danny Ainge has apparently fully committed to the youth movement.

19:50 - Are you comfortable with Terry Rozier as your starting point guard?

25:22 - Jeff Goodman of Stadium joins Chris and Sherrod and he's confident that the biggest factor in their future success is Terry Rozier and that they already have a superstar on their roster in Jayson Tatum.

31:22 - Goodman takes a quick look at who the Celtics might select on draft night at No. 14 and what they'll do with they're remaining first round picks.

36:01 - Sherrod explains why Chris and Celtics fans should be optimistic in the aftermath of the Anthony Davis trade because of the shift of power in the NBA and the Celtics combination of talent and chemistry.

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Jeff Goodman: Kyrie Irving 'treated Tatum like LeBron treated Kyrie'

Jeff Goodman: Kyrie Irving 'treated Tatum like LeBron treated Kyrie'

When Kyrie Irving came to the Boston Celtics, he was looking to be his own man as a basketball player. For many years, he played in the shadow of one of the greatest players in NBA history, LeBron James, but eventually, he wanted a chance to lead a team.

Well, after two years in Boston, things clearly didn't work out well. After a season where the team failed to live up to expectations under Irving, it seems that Irving is preparing to leave Boston and the Celtics are "almost to the point of resignation" when it comes to bringing him back.

While the Celtics may miss Irving's offensive production, Stadium's Jeff Goodman thinks his departure could potentially have a positive impact on one of the team's young stars, Jayson Tatum. On NBC Sports Boston's Arbella Early Edition, Goodman opened up on Irving's relationship with Tatum and compared it to Irving's relationship with James.

I just think that (Tatum) was held back by Kyrie. I really do. I feel like Kyrie treated Tatum like LeBron treated Kyrie to some extent. You're my little brother. This is where you're going to be. We're not gonna let you spread your wings too much. We'll let you spread them, but you're still a piece here. If Tatum were allowed -- and he will be this year -- we're going to see. This kid is going to be a perennial All-Star in this league.

This is certainly an interesting note, as this would imply that Irving made the same leadership mistakes that James made when he helped to drive Irving out of Cleveland. But now, it seems that Tatum will get a chance to be a leader at a young age. And perhaps he can learn from Irving's mistakes.

As many have noted, if Irving does leave, Tatum becomes the face of the Celtics. And it will be on him to take the next step heading into the season. Tatum did average 15.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game last year, all improvements over his rookie year numbers, so he did develop. It just wasn't at the extent that many expected after his performance in the 2018 postseason.

Goodman would also go on to say that finding a point guard who can make things easier for Tatum would be a big difference-maker for Boston. Whether or not that's restricted free agent Terry Rozier is unclear, but he did work well with Tatum during the team's surprising postseason run in 2018.

  

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