We could see the pinnacle of the Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum era with the Celtics as early as Friday night.
Boston’s dynamic duo is looking to punch its ticket to the NBA Finals when it hosts the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals at TD Garden. A win on home court in Game 6 will send the Celtics back to the Finals where they would tangle with the Golden State Warriors.
It certainly would be the height of both Tatum’s and Brown’s careers, which is saying something given how effective they have been since getting to Boston. In fact, it would be downright history-making for the two young stars to reach the Finals.
Tatum and Brown would become just the fourth tandem of players 25 and under to reach the Finals while leading their team in scoring in the past 40 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, per an ESPN.com story.
If and when the Celtics send Miami packing, Brown and Tatum would join this pretty elite company:
Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson (1986 Houston Rocket)
Shaquille O’Neal and Anfernee Hardaway (1995 Orlando Magic)
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (2012 Oklahoma City Thunder)
An impressive accomplishment, sure, but also something of a cautionary tale. None of those teams won titles. Even more noteworthy is none of those duos ever got back to the Finals, which does speak to just how difficult it is to keep a championship core together, especially in the NBA.
First things first, though: Boston must eliminate Miami. Their first chance to do so comes Friday night in Game 6 where the Celtics are considerable favorites to win and move on.