Forsberg: These stats strengthen the Jays’ status as the NBA’s best duo first appeared on NBC Sports Boston.

Nothing highlights the roller coaster rides of calendar year 2022 more than the violent swing of the story surrounding the Celtics star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

As the Celtics stepped into the new calendar, there were loud voices wondering if the two could thrive together. It’s almost unanimous to have the best tandem.

This is the by-product of winning. Not only did Tatum and Brown grow as individual players, but together they figured out how to make Boston a legitimate title contender.

The Jays cap out a wild calendar year on Thursday night by hosting the Clippers and their star pairing of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. As the Jays try to pull the Celtics away from his December funk, Thursday’s game will again assert itself against another hyped duo that beat them earlier this month. It’s a chance.

Celtics Talk Postgame Pod: Jays, Robert Williams Have Big Night With Rockets | LISTEN & SUBSCRIBE

Tatum and Brown are performing almost 40/40 against the Houston Rockets. Brown poured in 39 points and Tatum added 38 as the Celtics won their third straight and rebuilt some of the momentum stolen on their trip to the West.

Let’s shine a spotlight on Boston’s star duo, highlighting four numbers in particular that show just how far the Jays have come in 2022.


This is a Boston record when both Jays scored at least 30 points in a game.

There have been six such instances this season alone, and he recently passed Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, who had a combined 14-2 record in such games. By the end of the 2022-23 season, the Jays could quietly shuffle the highest-scoring duo of the modern era, including Shaquille O’Neal/Kobe Bryant (30/30, his 33rd instance of 27-6). I have. record) and Kevin Durant/Russell Westbrook (34, 23-11).

Brown explains why he and Tatum are so successful offensively

“It’s crazy. This time last year everyone wanted to trade one of us and now they said Mike and Scotty,” Tatum said. “I mean, we’re not as bad as people say, but we’re still not as bad as Mike and Scotty. We’re two guys who love to compete and love to help our team win every night. , and just try to get better.But we have to win.We have to win when it matters most to really mean something.”

One of their 17-1 records came earlier this season when Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell and Caris Levert each scored 40 points in overtime in Boston. There are only 17 examples of 40-40 clubs in NBA history. That means he needs a historically great duo performance to outlast the Jays in 30 or 30 games.


J2J assists this season.

This may not seem like a very high number until you realize that the two combined for 72 assists during the 2021-22 season. 2022-23 season.

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J2J assists in 2021-22 season


2022-23 Jay-to-Jay Projected Assists (Current Pace)




In 35 games, Brown made 25 assists for Tatum after recording just 22 assists for Tatum. everything from last seasonTatum’s most common assist this season has been against Brown, and not particularly close. Tatum has 32 helpers at Brown, including 11 of his rim finishes and 13 of his 3-pointers. The next closest teammate is Al Horford, who has 21 baskets in which Tatum assists.

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Approximate opponent defense to stop Brown/Tatum pick and roll.

OK, I’m exaggerating here. It feels like every instance leads to a point. And given their talent, Tatum/Brown pick-and-rolls still don’t feel like they happen as often as they should. Beware of confusion…

As Tatum slides into the basket, Brown moves everything with a beautiful bounce pass through two defenders. When he pauses that clip for three seconds, all five of his Rockets defenders are at either Tatum’s or Brown’s feet.

There are three wide open shooters with Horford and Derrick White holding off the corners and only Marcus Smart at the top of the arc. Tatum can choose to take down his one defender who runs up to help, or he can kick into any of the three shooters with no defenders within 10 feet.

Tatum chose to zip the ball to Horford, who buried the shot as Boston started pulling away from Houston at the end of the first half.

It doesn’t matter what combination you have on the floor. With enough shooting, the Celtics will be lethal in these cases. Substitute Robert Williams III for White. Now Williams III crashes hard on the weak side and can easily be lobbed. Shuffling Smart just above the break still gives him two wide-open shooters to choose from.

The point here is that good things happen when the Jays work together. It doesn’t even have to be pick and roll. With one Jay screening the other, the defender must decide whether to switch one of his Jays or let him roam freely. There are no good answers.


Here’s Boston’s net rating with both Jays on the floor this season.

It’s not the eye-popping plus 14.5 that the duo posted last season as the No. 1 massive two-man lineup (over 1,000 minutes) in the NBA. But a slow start suggests that it may eventually get closer to that high mark.

The Jays maintained an incredibly low -3.1 net rating through October. They’ve been plus 9.9 since the start of his November, and are plus 9.7 in the final month of 2022, despite the team’s slump in December.

It wouldn’t be strange to suggest that the Tatum-Brown duo could increase total production even further if Williams III were able to acclimate again and the Celtics remained in near-perfect health. Boston’s defense is on the upswing, and the Celtics are maintaining a historic offensive pace despite spending his December weeks as the worst offense in his NBA.

This year, Tatum’s and Brown’s metrics will rise together as the Celtics approach the level they played in the second half of last season.

While teams rarely operate without one of them on the floor (mostly in one-sided games), the Celtics have posted a horrific net rating of -21.9 over 127 minutes.

Watch the video below to see Forsberg delve into these numbers and more in a “Celtics Post-Up” with co-host Amina Smith.

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