Celtics news & rumors: Tatum, Brown thriving; Jalen Smith on the radar

With the NBA Trade Deadline looming and rumors buzzing, Boston Celtics young duo Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are starting to play their best basketball…at the same time.

As the theme of the first half of the NBA season has been whether the two young All-Stars can play together, both have faced criticism individually, but as a tandem on the court, they are starting to refute that argument with their play on the court.

While the Celtics don’t want to depend on Tatum and Brown having to put up 30+ points in any game, when they do, the team is hard to beat which showed in the team’s recent 119-100 win over the Indiana Pacers.  Brown led the team with 34 points and Tatum added 33 points in the blowout victory.

Boston Celtics young duo Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown getting it together

Not only were the two young stars scoring, but they were also proficient shooting the ball.  It was great to see and when the duo is playing like that, it certainly makes like easier for the Boston Celtics head coach, right Ime Udoka?

“Obviously it makes everything a lot easier,” Udoka said following the game, via MassLive.com.  “We’re looking for that as a regular thing obviously.  Having two guys in attack mode is hard to stop, but what I liked was the ball movement.  Other than a little stretch in the second where we went a little bit with some iso’s, we were pretty good moving the ball.  Playing off the post, playing off splits and getting out in transition.  They scored naturally, didn’t force much and got everybody involved.  When those two are rolling and on the same page we’re going to have a good offensive night, also doing what we do on defense.”

The key point there is that both Tatum and Brown were able to score, while getting everyone else involved also.  Both have drawn critique for their iso ball at times and inability to make the players around them better.  It may come with maturity, as both players are still learning how to lead, but it will also come with positive results.

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Let’s just hope those positive results continue as the team enters the second half of the 2021-22 NBA season looking to make a run.

NBA rumors: Boston Celtics have interest in Jalen Smith

The Boston Celtics may not need to make a huge splash by the Feb. 10 NBA trade deadline, but a smaller, more significant move could be enough to shake things up for this current roster.

One rumor out there is the team’s interest in Phoenix Suns’ big man Jalen Smith.

The 10th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft is apparently on the trade block after just his second season with the team. Though he just averaging 7.5 points and 5.3 rebounds this season, the 6-foot-10, 215-pound Smith showed the Celtics firsthand his potential by scoring 19 points and pulling down 7 rebounds in Phoenix’s 123-108 loss to the Celtics at TD Garden on New Year’s Eve.

In obtaining another big young man, the Celtics could package Dennis Schroder and Aaron Nesmith in the deal.  Not only would Boston get something in return for Schroder who is set to hit free agency, but both clubs will obtain former lottery picks in Nesmith and Smith who may flourish with a change of scenery and more opportunity.

Again, while the spotlight is on bigger deals, obtaining an athletic big man with a ton of talent could spark some energy in the team.