Boston Celtics' Young Trio Big Part of Success
It was easy to think that the Boston Celtics would no longer be a contender anymore after star Gordon Hayward went down after five minutes on opening night. Luckily for the Celtics, All-stars Kyrie Irving and Al Horford lead the team to the second seed in the Eastern Conference and a record of 55 and 27. Not a bad season for Head Coach Brad Stevens who saw his team reach the playoffs for the fourth time under his coaching. With the success of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, it's easy to overlook some of Boston's younger players. Rookie forward Jayson Tatum impressed Celtics fans with a solid 13.9 points per game as well as his 47.5% shooting from the perimeter. Tatum also received the honor of Rookie of the Month in December for his exceptional play and started 80 games during the season. Tatum was the third overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft but it's another third overall pick from the previous year who's been a big contribution. Building a strong résumé for Most Improved Player, guard/forward Jaylen Brown essentially doubled his rookie year stats. Brown saw a season that featured 14.4 points per game. 5.0 rebounds per game and 46% shooting from three. Brown also set a career high 32 points this year and started 70 games. Also in the mix, and perhaps the least notable, is back-up point guard Terry Rozier III. Rozier only averaged 11.3 points per game but saw a career high 33 points against the Kings, a game winning steal and dunk versus the Pacers and a triple-double in his first career start after losing Kyrie (second player in history since Philly guard Tony Wroten in 2013).
It may not be easy for three players under the age of 25 to contribute to a phenomenal season, but leading a team in the playoffs is certainly no gimme. With a first-round match-up versus the Milwaukee Bucks, the young three were up to the task. In a game 1 thriller, Brown, Tatum and Rozier combined for 62 points, lead by Rozier's 23 and what seemed like a game-winner (featured below).
The budding trio helped lead the Celtics to a Game 2 win, combining for 57 points. This time it was Jaylen Brown who was the star with 30 points, making him the youngest Celtic to score 30 points in a playoff game.
The Boston Celtic's will head to Milwaukee for Game 3 tomorrow at 9:30 pm (E.T) and Game 4 on Sunday at 1:00 pm (E.T) for the best of seven series. Boston currently holds a 2-0 lead in the series.