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#pounditSaturday, May 27, 2023

Jaylen Brown responds to criticisms of his fit with Jayson Tatum

Jaylen Brown gets ready to shoot

Two Js have not necessarily been better than one for the Boston Celtics this season. Now one of those Js is responding to the claim that their fit together is no longer a tenable one.

Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown was the star of the evening on Saturday, recording his first career triple-double in a blowout win over the New York Knicks. After the game, Brown reacted to the criticisms over his fit with co-star Jayson Tatum, who finished with a fairly quiet 19 points on Saturday.

“I think we can play together,” Brown told reporters, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “We have played together well for the majority of our career and things like that. The last year or so hasn’t gone as expected, but I think a lot of the adversity that we’re kind of going through now is going to help us grow and get better in the future.

“If we get over this slump and continue to learn, I think there’s a lot of good basketball on the other side of this,” he added. “I only can control what I can control. I understand everybody has to do their jobs, but me and JT talk. We talked after the game, communicated with one another, and things like that. So we’re on the same page. I get where all the other frustration comes from, but as long as I’m on the same page with him and he’s on the same page with me, that’s where we’re most focused on.”

Brown, 25, and Tatum, 23, are in their fifth year together. But the chorus of voices questioning their fit has grown especially loud this season with the Celtics at just 19-21 on the year. The team also went .500 last season.

Both players are ball-dominant scorers with limited playmaking ability for others. That can be patched up somewhat with a true pass-first point guard running the team’s offense. But Dennis Schroder is not exactly that guy for the Celtics, and Marcus Smart is definitely not that guy. Thus, their issues are a bit more glaring, and the losses piling up only adds to the scrutiny.

Tatum seems to think that the media is trying to create a rift between him and Brown. But the questions here are real enough that some believe the Celtics could break up the two stars before long.

Photo: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

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