By Jack Callahan
At the start of the NBA season, it was uncertain how the Celtics would play with the absence of their star point guard Kemba Walker who suffered a knee injury last season. That question seems to have been answered as the team makes a strong start to the season.
The Celtics are currently first in the Eastern Conference with a record of 7-3 and are on a four-game win streak.
Much of their success can be attributed to the team’s main scoring duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who have had a historical start to this year’s season as they take over the offense in the absence of Kemba Walker. The NBA recognized the duo in a tweet for becoming the third pair of teammates to each put up over 250 points in their team’s first ten games. The only other pairs to do this were Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant (2001-2002) and Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant (2016-2017 and 2018-2019).
The duo has also received recognition from former NBA center Kendrick Perkins, who played with the 2008 Boston Celtics championship team. Perkins said, “Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown is a Top 3 Duo in the NBA.”
Tatum and Brown are just 22 and 24 years old respectively, which means the pair still has a lot of time to improve. With both players averaging over 26 points a game this season and shooting nearly 50% from the field (Tatum’s stats Brown’s stats), the duo seems to have a promising future.
Despite these accomplishments, some Celtics fans still have their doubts about the pair. NAHS Junior Rohan Kohli has been a long time fan of the Celtics and watches all their games. He believes that Tatum is not as good as he seems and said, “Jayson Tatum is good but overhyped. He’s inconsistent and does nothing but shoot step back threes. Jaylen Brown goes to the paint and is efficient.”
Rohan’s analysis of the pair can be seen through the duo’s shooting percentage. Brown has a more than 6% higher shooting percentage (53.9%) than Tatum (47.4%).
Unfortunately, the duo will have to be put on hold as both players are in quarantine and have not played since January 8th. Tatum tested positive for the virus and, in accordance with NBA coronavirus guidelines, Brown will also not be able to play since he was exposed to him. If Brown tests negative he should be able to return to play by Sunday, January 24th to play against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Not being able to watch the Celtics’ best players as they are sidelined is upsetting to fans. Aakash Sunkari, a Celtics fan and North senior said, “It’s very disappointing to see stars like Tatum, Walker and Brown not be able to play, but I’m proud of our rookies for stepping up – especially my man Payton Pritchard. He’s come up big in the last couple of games.”
The Celtics have had to postpone some of their games due to the virus exposure but will continue to play their scheduled games from this point on. Their schedule can be found at: https://www.nba.com/celtics/schedule.