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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Celtics’ Young Stars Having Playoff Success

Jayson+Tatum+of+the+Boston+Celtics.

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics.

With two all-stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward done for the year, it was known from the start of the playoffs that Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Terry Rozier would have to step up if they wanted any shot at advancing. Although this wasn’t too unrealistic, it still was a lot to ask for from a rookie, a sophomore, and a third-year player. Not to mention, the Celtics drew the Milwaukee Bucks for their first-round matchup, whose best player is NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. 
When most people refer to the Celtics’ “young talent,” they’re really talking about Brown and Tatum. After game one, a lot of eyes were opened as Rozier led the way for the Celtics. Both offensively and defensively, Rozier essentially took over the game and outplayed former first-round pick Eric Bledsoe. He ended the game with 23 points, four assists, four threes, and a steal in 40 minutes played. Aside from all of the numbers, the Celtics found themselves in a back-and-forth affair to the point where they were tied with less than 30 seconds left. Rozier took it upon himself to win, letting the clock run down before draining a three-pointer with 0.5 seconds left. Shockingly, Khris Middleton of the Bucks matched that and hit a buzzer beater to send the game into overtime as he tied it at 99-99. The Celtics would go on to take care of business, eventually winning the game 113-107.
Game two belonged to none other than Brown, who’s arguably been the most consistent player in the series. After scoring 20 points in game one, Brown’s confidence appeared to be through the roof as he wasn’t afraid at all to shoot the ball, shooting 12 threes on 22 total shots. He finished with 30 points and five made threes, as the Celtics won 120-106. Taking care of home court as a young team was key for Boston to advance to the second round. Brown wasn’t alone however, as Rozier once again came up big. He scored 23 points for the second game in a row, but this time also dished out eight assists.
Despite back to back losses in games three and four, Tatum really seemed to find himself after struggling in games one and two. He scored 21 points in the game four loss, and took a lot of key shots down the stretch. Although they weren’t able to win either game, the future looks promising and maybe this is something he can build on as long as they advance. One could also make the case that game four was Brown’s best game yet, as he poured in 34 points and looked beyond comfortable standing around the perimeter draining threes. 
Game five was a solid overall game for all three of them, which resulted in a 92-87 win. Now up three games to two, Boston will need more of the same from Brown, Tatum, and Rozier if they want to close this series out. Brown is averaging 21.8 points, Tatum 13.2 points, and Rozier 16.2 points in these first five games. For three guys who at the beginning of the year weren’t even sure if they’d be starters, those numbers are impressive and absolutely exceed expectations. With that said, there’s no way any of them are content; they all want to improve. If Boston can close this series out, they will have an interesting test next round against Philadelphia.