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Jayson Tatum Jaylen Brown Celtics

(Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Are Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown the NBA’s best duo?

Jayson Tatum Jaylen Brown Celtics
(Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Are Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown the NBA’s best duo?

Not too long ago, we were in the prime of the superteam era with the Miami Heat’s Big 3 boasting LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and the Golden State Warriors featuring Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Now, we might be entering — if we haven’t already — an era dominated by resounding duos. Well, on Tuesday, after the Boston Celtics’ NBA-most 18th win on Wednesday over the Miami Heat, Jayson Tatum was questioned on whether or not he thought he and Jaylen Brown were the NBA’s best duo.

“I guess, yeah. Whatever that means,” Tatum said, with a smile on his face. “I believe in him and his ability and the things he can do. We have obviously shown that we can play together at a high level and have great success. I guess it looks that way but I guess that’s for you (the media) to decide. We never talk about that. We want to be the best team. We want to win a championship, and if along the way we’re the best duo, we’ll take it.”

This is just an educated guess, but if you were to poll 100 executives, players and coaches about who the NBA’s best duo was, Tatum and Brown would certainly be in the running for the winner.

At least Luka Doncic would agree:

That’s not take away from the other formidable duos in the league.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis won an NBA Title their first year together. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are as lethal of a two-way duo imaginable — when both are healthy. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton spearheaded the Milwaukee Bucks’ first title in 50 years (along with Jrue Holiday), and could’ve possibly came away with another if it wasn’t for Middleton’s injury last postseason. You could pair any one of Curry and Thompson/Green together to form a strong duo. And it helps the latter won four titles together — which certainly amounts to something.

Other notables include the Phoenix Suns’ Chris Paul and Devin Booker, the Heat’s Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, the Philadelphia 76ers’ James Harden and Joel Embiid, the Chicago Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine, the Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray (when healthy), among others.

The early returns on the Atlanta Hawks’ new duo of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell have both been promising, though it’s been a little bumpy for both aforementioned pairings of late. In Minnesota with Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards/Karl-Anthony Towns? Well, maybe not so much … yet?

Point is: There’s plenty of good ones, but the Celtics’ duo of Jaylen Brown and Tatum are at or near the top of the pyramid.

Jayson Tatum’s comment comes moments after both dismantled a Sioux Falls Skyf-…I mean Miami Heat team without Butler. Tatum poured six points on Miami within seconds of the game’s start, which was just the beginning. He ultimately sported a 49-point, 11-rebound, 3-assist, 2-steal effort on 15-of-25 shooting with eight triples on 12 attempts in the 13-point win. Brown, meanwhile, battled foul trouble, but still managed to add 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists on 10-of-18 shooting in 28 minutes.

Dominant outing by the Jays, who are one of two duos (James, AD) within the top-15 in scoring, with Jayson Tatum sitting second (31.6 ppg) and Brown at No. 13 (26.1 ppg). They spearhead a historically good Celtics offense that’s miles ahead of every other offense in the league.

Just wait until they re-integrate vertical-spacer Robert Williams, who’s now practicing, to the rotation after recovering from knee surgery.

Scary thought, I know.


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