The Boston Celtics raised the bar last season when reaching the NBA Finals and falling just two games short of defeating the Golden State Warriors. Those expectations, as they refer to the premier young duo of up-and-coming stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, are also high, according to one Celtics alum who partook in the 2008 Finals-winning team.
Eddie House, who spent three seasons with the Celtics and played in two Finals series, offered his expectations for Tatum and Brown ahead of their follow-up campaign to finishing atop the Eastern Conference last season.
“I’m expecting both of them to take big jumps,” House said on NBC Sports Boston. “The sour taste of losing in the NBA Finals is motivation enough, but then at the same time you have Jaylen Brown with the chip on his shoulder of like, ‘Hey, I was in trade talks for a guy who was older. I’m just now starting to come into my own. I’ll be in my prime for six to seven years. Don’t give up on me, I want to be here with the Boston Celtics.’ “
During the six-game battle against the Warriors, Tatum and Brown served as the two primary contributors for the Celtics. Both performing in their first Finals, Brown led Boston in scoring, averaging 23.5 points on 43.1% shooting from the field while Tatum followed with 21.5 points and going 36.7% from field goal range.
“And it’s great to have two young guys like this, so why not lock them up and see what you can do with a dynamic duo,” House said. “We’ve seen two guys like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen do it, and do it for a long time. I’m not saying they’re Mike and Scottie, but they are young players who are evolving as stars and knocking on the door of superstardom.”