All other eight of the NBA’s icons paused on the court letting the Boston Celtics’ tandem have their moment going one-on-one for multiple consecutive possessions. The night ended in the Jays and Deuce celebrating Tatum achieving his mentor’s award in the Kobe Bryant Trophy. Debuting his Jordan model, he was the clear MVP following an untamable explosion.
Celtics superstars prove they’re ahead of the game
Danny Ainge’s prized possessions, the former No. 3 picks from 2016 and 2017, gave an exhibit of who they are and why they sit atop the league on the path to their goal after falling in June. The NBA’s highest-scoring duo, which continues to break records on a nightly basis, is continuously climbing towards becoming one of the greatest partners to play with and beyond. Think about it: This was all after their premature bickering about not being able to coexist way back when.
This capped off a historic third quarter from Jayson Tatum with 27 points, which is the most in any quarter in the All-Star game. There was no slowing him down. He reached 20 with a whole half of the period to go and broke Steph Curry’s record of seven triples for the most in a quarter in ASG history. Tatum was rapidly approaching Anthony Davis’s scoring record in the game, with 52 from 2017 entering the fourth.
Tatum’s 55 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists on 10/18 from distance crushed that. Just he and Curry have netted that many in the All-Star game. Not only was he having fun with the self-alley for dunks or pulling from Curry-range, but he was also taking almost every defender to school. Including the standard dribble to the corner for Joel Embiid to chase, as well as the in-and-out dribble from the baseline to the corner.
Aside from Tatum being the man of the night for Team Giannis and Joe Mazzulla on the bench, Jaylen Brown could have won the ASG MVP award if the score had been reversed. Team LeBron’s leading scorer also ate glass.
The evening was pure joy for Boston Celtic faithful and fandom galore watching their historic tandem combine for 90 points. Emphasized by the laser-focus of Mazzulla, without chewing his gum nowadays, and of course the jumping happiness of Deuce.
What This Means for the Celtics
For Boston, this was a grade summary of the state of the franchise and their main and clear goal this season. Business only in regards to them not letting anything stop them from getting that 18th banner this season, especially going through what they did this past summer.
Tatum and Brown are the highest-scoring duos in the league, with the Celtics owning the best record throughout the season and this long (still 23 regular-season games remaining). Within the top four of both offense and defense, whenever the time comes to maintain durability between the starting five, they could easily be the No. 1 team on both ends.
Tatum may have other MVP nominees trailing and competing with him for the award now after beginning as the frontrunner, but he is still the best player on the best team. Mazzulla could be the NBA’s Coach of the Year if Sacramento’s Mike Brown doesn’t run away with it. One of the newest embedded green-teamers, Malcolm Brogdon, is the favorite for Sixth Man of the Year here in his first year in Boston. Shooting the lights out as a team all season, they are still sitting at 63%.
Postgame, media members began to question Tatum about his lengthy resume at such a young age. He responded by joking about the iconic age he has always been given, saying he’s realizing he’s not 19 anymore, just a couple of weeks away from 25.
The point is, everything has come up green for the Celtics this season in their desperation to finally get that championship on their path back to the Finals. This was a show that Tatum and Brown put on. Not only does it show who the best duo is and how locked in they are above the rest of the league and as a team, but it also shows a glimpse of the current work and focus that’s being put in.
Beyond being motivated, hungry, and eager to achieve the ultimate goal and get the job done, nothing else matters. That’s been the Celtics’ focus all season long, with the same mindset entering the season’s final stretch. Another example was made in pure art Sunday night.