Celtics wing players need better chemistry and rhythm

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BOSTON -- When talk centers around why the Boston Celtics are expected to be among the best teams in the NBA this season, much of that discussion centers around their depth at the wing position.

Gordon Hayward is just two years removed from being an All-Star. Jaylen Brown is developing into one of the better two-way players in the league. And Jayson Tatum, third in last season’s Rookie of the Year voting, is one of the young rising stars in the league.

All good, right?

Not when that talented trio of starters are all trying to figure out the best way to mesh their talents without hurting anyone's feelings . . . or worse, the team.

“We have a lot of guys who do the same thing,” Brown said. “Me, Jayson, Hayward, all are very similar in what we do. We have to find a better chemistry and rhythm to help each other.”

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Part of the challenge for this group involves getting past the niceties of playing with guys they genuinely like and focus more on figuring out what they can do to become more efficient and effective on the floor.

“There’s a lot of talent on that first unit,” Brown said. “And nobody wants to step on each other’s toes but at the same time we’re not helping each other.”

The good news for Boston is that the issues that are rising to the surface, are happening now rather than in a couple weeks when the regular season starts.

That’s why while players are concerned, no one is anywhere close to hitting the panic button.

“We’ll figure it out,” Brown said. “I have no doubt in my mind we’ll figure it out. Take a deep breath, smile, and continue to get better each game.”

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You have to love Boston’s depth across the roster, but particularly at the wing position.

But depth void of continuity in play, is worthless outside of NBA fantasy leagues.

And that state of disjunction is the reality facing Boston and its wing-heavy roster.

“What comes with expectations, comes reality,” Brown said. “We have to perform to the level of expectations. Through the first three games, we haven’t.”

Said Hayward: “There’s obviously a lot for us to do. We still have a lot of work; just to try and get started here. But if we focus on getting better each day and focus on being the best version of ourselves we can go a long way."

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