Filling up the stats sheet isn’t the only thing Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum must do for the Boston Celtics.
Dennis Schröder revealed to The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn on Monday he has challenged Brown and Tatum to increase their defensive intensity early in the 2021-22 NBA season. Schröder believes the Celtics only will benefit if their leading players commit to playing like superstars on offense and defense.
“We have a lot of talent, through the roof, but I think of the defensive side of the ball we’ve all got to do better,” Schröder told Washburn. “I’ve challenged Tatum, Jaylen, they’re the best players on our team and if they play hard and bring it on the defensive side of the ball, we’re going to be a whole different team. Whatever they want to accomplish, being a top-five player, they’re going to reach that. I’m going to push them to get better at that and myself being better defensively and offensively, pushing the pace and bringing the energy.”
Schröder’s challenge seemingly has helped lift the Celtics, who have rebounded from their 0-2 start by winning their next two games. Brown and Tatum are posting gaudy offensive numbers, but how they respond to the challenge their new teammate issued might factor just as heavily into the outcome of games going forward.