Young Celtics tandem delivers (another) impressive playoff win

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Boston-Philadelphia Game 1 matchup on Monday had the look and feel of a two-man basketball relay team with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown picking up where the other’s dominance left off.» data-reactid=»16″>The Boston-Philadelphia Game 1 matchup on Monday had the look and feel of a two-man basketball relay team with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown picking up where the other’s dominance left off.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="And as the final horn sounded, the Celtics‘ dynamic duo did just enough for Boston to escape with a 109-101 victory to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.» data-reactid=»17″>And as the final horn sounded, the Celtics‘ dynamic duo did just enough for Boston to escape with a 109-101 victory to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston’s coverage of Celtics-76ers Game 2, which begins Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.&nbsp;with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 6:30 p.m.&nbsp;You can also&nbsp;stream&nbsp;the game on&nbsp;the MyTeams App.» data-reactid=»22″>Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston’s coverage of Celtics-76ers Game 2, which begins Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 6:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Tatum had 32 points and 13 rebounds, becoming the youngest player in franchise history to put up&nbsp;at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in a playoff game. Not too far behind was Brown, who came alive in the fourth quarter which is when he scored 15 of his 29 points -&nbsp;all coming after he left the game with a quadriceps injury following a knee from Philadelphia's Joel Embiid.» data-reactid=»23″>Tatum had 32 points and 13 rebounds, becoming the youngest player in franchise history to put up at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in a playoff game. Not too far behind was Brown, who came alive in the fourth quarter which is when he scored 15 of his 29 points – all coming after he left the game with a quadriceps injury following a knee from Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid.

«Those guys … that’s what they’ve done their whole career,» said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens of Tatum and Brown. «In the playoffs, regular season, they consistently got better, they made big plays, timely plays. They both did tonight.»

Especially Brown, who drained a 3-pointer that put Boston ahead 99-91 in the fourth quarter which was arguably the biggest shot of the night.

«JB is special,» Tatum told ESPN’s Malika Andrews moments after the Celtics win. «We’re gonna need him to be special as long as we want to keep playing.»

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Tatum was pretty damn impressive in his own right, too. It seemed no matter who the Sixers tried to assign defensively to Tatum, he was going to get his points.&nbsp;» data-reactid=»29″>Tatum was pretty damn impressive in his own right, too. It seemed no matter who the Sixers tried to assign defensively to Tatum, he was going to get his points. 

«He was really good,» Stevens said of Tatum. «I thought he was unbelievably good defensively the whole game, talking and helping … he just makes a huge impact on that end. And offensively, it doesn’t feel like he’s got 32 at the end of the night. He just plays the game within himself, makes the right play. He did a lot of good things tonight.»

And those good things add up this time of year, especially when they are coming from a pair of players who are relatively young in age but long on playoff experience.

For Brown and Tatum, Monday’s game was playoff game No. 45 and 40, respectively.

So while most 22 and 23-year-old NBA players are still learning what it’s like to be in the playoffs and adjusting to that heightened level of intensity, it’s more of a been-there, done-that thing for these two.

«We just have to fight; that’s what it comes down to,» Brown said. «Who wants it the most. Today we came out, battled, and we came out on top. We have to keep that fight up to win this series.»

Said Tatum: «I can’t stress enough how important JB is and how special he is, especially when we need him to be on a nightly basis. He’s definitely capable. We do different things out there, so just play to our strengths, being aggressive in the offense.»

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Their poised, clutch demeanor in the stormy times of the playoffs has a calming effect on the entire team, which includes a veteran like Kemba Walker.» data-reactid=»38″>Their poised, clutch demeanor in the stormy times of the playoffs has a calming effect on the entire team, which includes a veteran like Kemba Walker.

While Walker is a perennial Eastern Conference All-Star, he knows all too well that Boston’s success this time of year will hinge heavily on the play of their dynamic tandem who are more versed on the challenges of the postseason than he is.

Walker joined the Celtics during the offseason after spending his first eight NBA seasons in Charlotte where he played in a total of just 11 playoff games.

So to see Tatum and Brown dominate a game the way they did on Monday? Walker is totally cool with that happening.

«Those are super-special talents,» he said of Tatum and Brown. «They showed it today. Every big moment, they made plays. Every big play we needed they made it. It’s fun to watch, to be part of their growth.»

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Young Celtics tandem delivers (another) impressive playoff win originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston» data-reactid=»45″>Young Celtics tandem delivers (another) impressive playoff win originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston