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.
It's hard to believe the Boston Celtics won the 2008 NBA Finals over the Los Angeles Lakers 11 years ago.
Monday marks the 11th anniversary of the C's winning their 17th championship on June 17, 2008, so it seems like a good time to bring back an iconic moment from the celebration.
The Celtics trounced the Los Angeles Lakers 131-92 in Game 6 at TD Garden to clinch the franchise's first title since 1986. While there were many memorable moments from the postgame festivities, nothing stands out as much as Celtics star Kevin Garnett shouting "Anything's possible!" to ESPN's Michele Tafoya.
Re-live Garnett's amazing moment in the video below:
Celtics fans will never tire of that video, and nor should they.
Garnett waited 13 years to win his first NBA championship. He had accomplished nearly everything but a title in his 12 years with the Minnesota Timberwolves before joining the Celtics via trade in the summer of 2007. Garnett's triumph in 2008 a fitting addition to his Hall of Fame résumé.
☘️June 17, 2008: The New Big 3 pummel the #Lakers in Game 6 to secure the #Celtics 17th banner.
If you haven't already, check out our 🔊 podcast "Anything is Podable" telling the story from that memorable seasonhttps://t.co/yEgK05olPK
The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a blockbuster trade Saturday night by agreeing to acquire superstar center Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, and one former Boston Celtics player doesn't think the Purple and Gold are done making impactful moves.
Kendrick Perkins, who won a championship with the Celtics in 2008 as their starting center, hinted at more fireworks from the Lakers in a tweet Saturday.
The Crazy thing is the Lakers are not done yet! Just remember I said it first when free agency hits!!! Lakers=2020 NBA Champs! 😉
The Lakers have around $25 million in salary cap space after the Davis trade, so they still are in play for a max-contract free agent once the market opens June 30, although a top-tier free agent would need to take a small discount to sign with Los Angeles.
L.A. still needs a point guard to facilitate the offense after giving up Lonzo Ball in the Davis trade. Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker, who's eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer, would be a nice fit next to James. Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving, also an upcoming UFA, could choose to reunite with James after spending three years together on the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-15 through 2016-17.
Perkins seems pretty confident in the Lakers' chances of building a championship-caliber roster for next season, and he's not alone: oddsmakers have already pegged L.A. as the favorites to win the 2020 NBA Finals. Plenty of work remains for the Lakers in constructing a title-contending team, however, but they are off to a good start following the acquisition of Davis.