Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“It feels good,” said Marcus Smart, the longest-tenured Celtic. “I think everybody sees the steps that they’ve taken towards becoming better basketball players, and it shows.”
It especially showed in a pivotal third quarter stretch against Denver where Boston’s lead ballooned from nine to 21 in a heartbeat. On back to back plays, Tatum found Brown for a vicious dunk in transition, and then hit a step-back 3-pointer that sent him skipping down the sidelines in celebration.
“I guess we feed off each other,” Brown said. “Kind of different games, kind of opposite, but it makes sense, like Fire and Ice. We just try to come out and be aggressive.”
Yesterday Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Cavs are ready to listen to trade offers for Kevin Love. If you read or hear anyone talking about the Celtics being interested, feel free to laugh in their faces.
Yeah, at one time we all lusted for Love’s potent rebounding and three-point shooting, but that ship has sailed. If Ainge didn’t trade the Jays for the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, he’s definitely not doing it for a 31-year-old power forward who has three years and $90 million remaining on his contract.
And as our friend John Karalis explains in his MassLive piece, now we’re seeing exactly why Ainge wouldn’t part with his young forward duo. They’re looking like the NBA’s next generation of Kawhi and PG-13.
One-quarter of the way into this season, Tatum is averaging 21.2 points per game and Brown is averaging 20.0, for a team that’s 16-5 and second in the East. They are fulfilling their potential right before our eyes, and the evidence has crystallized during the Celtics’ current three-game win streak.
At New York, Jay and Jay combined for 58 points on 21-of-41 shooting. Wednesday vs. Miami it was 50 points on 16-of-40. Last night they had 47 on 18-of-34. Those numbers average out to a combined 51.6 points on slightly more than 18-of-38 shooting.
Right now, Kemba Walker leads Boston with 21.8 PPG, and the soon-to-return Gordon Hayward adds 18.9 per night. That’s 82 points per game from essentially four 20-PPG scorers. No other team in the league has that much firepower with such balance.
There’s a long way to go before the playoffs, and the team has plenty still to prove. But it’s fair to be very excited about 1) just how much these Celtics might achieve, and 2) the blindingly bright future of their two young studs.
MassLive: Boston Celtics blitz Denver Nuggets early, Jaylen Brown & Jayson Tatum put them away late in blowout 108-95 win | Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown leveling up against contenders: 8 things we learned from Boston Celtics vs. Denver Nuggets
NBC Sports Boston: Strong defense, Jayson Tatum-Jaylen Brown combo and other takeaways from Celtics’ win over Denver | Celtics season is bringing the best out of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum | Celtics-Nuggets Instant Overreactions: Best all-around performance by C’s so far
Boston Sports Journal: Robb: Celtics’ path towards contention may be ahead of schedule
On Page 2: Did you see that?
Liam Green posted an entertaining recap of last night’s beatdown of Denver, but there were so many highlights, here’s another look.
On Jaylen’s fast-break jam, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck leapt from his seat, pumping his fist to lead the cheers. Wyc didn’t enjoy last season. We can report that he is enjoying this one.
And, finally… Yes, we like you
Brad really gets the Boston sports fan. Last season we were miserable watching an unlikeable squad trudge through a season from hell. After that, many of us begged for a team we could cherish, like the Isaiah Thomas overachievers of 2017 and the Hospital Celtics of 2018.
The current version appears to be just that. We like them and they like each other. The wins are following, and right now life is good in Celtics Nation.
The Rest of the Links:
Boston Sports Journal: Is Semi Ojeleye turning into a consistent 3-and-D piece?