On Tuesday night the Boston Celtics staved off elimination and being swept by the surprising Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Behind stars Jayson Tatum (34 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists) and Jaylen Brown who chipped in with a solid (17 points, four rebounds and four assists), plus some great individual defense on Miami’s Jimmy Butler, the Celtics live to see another day following their 116-99 road win.
Game 4 was a far cry from their 26-point Game 3 loss to the Heat, in which they looked uninspired, beaten and in some instances seemed as if their heart had been taken. In the aftermath of that debacle, ESPN NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins mentioned on First Take, “it’s time to break up the duo.” While Perkins may be going a little a “hot rakish,” with his comments, he isn’t the first to suggest the duo doesn’t really fit that well, and may need to be apart.
Perk Says Tatum And Brown Don’t Play Complementary Basketball
Despite having a ton of success since being teamed up in 2017, Perk doesn’t believe the Celtics need to continue to keep the duo together.
“Brown and Tatum don’t complement each other well,” Perkins said. “I ain’t saying they have to be best friends, but it’s alarming to me when I watch and I look across the internet and see guys working out throughout the summertime, and I have never seen Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown link up one time. All good things have to come to an end.”
Perkins saying he’s never seen them together in the offseason isn’t enough to break them up. Their on-court play has always been a bit jagged, but their so talented they’ve been able to overcome that to be very successful. And they’ve won a lot, which cures all.
Both made All-NBA teams this season, with Tatum being named first team and Brown second team, making both eligible for the supermax on their next deals. Tatum is due to receive $318M over five seasons and Brown $295M over five years.
The duo is currently in its fourth Eastern Conference Finals in their six seasons together. They lost in six games to the Golden State Warriors in last year’s NBA Finals, but something just seems off.
Part of the issue is the Celtics lack of a point guard which has plagued throughout the duo’s six years together. In fact, Perkins even has a trade in mind to get Tatum another star and Brown his own team with Tatum being the No.1 guy in Boston.
Perk Says Brown For Damian Lillard Would Be Great
Brown has long been capable of being the top guy, but that won’t happen in Boston. So Perkins says trade him to Portland for superstar Damian Lillard. That way Boston gets a bonafide star at point guard, and Portland gets a star to rebuild it’s franchise around.
Lillard, 32, has given his all to Portland, but the franchise just can’t compete in the Western Conference as currently constructed. A trade for Brown could not only net him, but other assets as well with Lillard having a high-trade value.
Will it happen? That remains to be seen, but it’s something to consider no matter what happens the rest of the way for the Celtics.