Tatum and Brown carrying Celtics offense at very impressive level


The Boston Celtics are among the small number of NBA teams with multiple top-tier scorers for defenses to gameplan around every single game.

Jayson Tatum is a top-five MVP candidate after a phenomenal showing in March during which he scored 32.8 points per game and shot 44.7 percent from 3-point range. The C's unsurprisingly went 11-2 in March and at one point occupied first place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Tatum hasn't had to shoulder the offensive burden himself. Far from it, actually.

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Jaylen Brown averaged 22.5 points in March. After a somewhat slow start to the month, Brown finished March with seven consecutive games scoring 25-plus points -- a streak he extended Friday night when the Celtics kicked off April with a 128-123 win over the Indiana Pacers at TD Garden.

Here's a look at Tatum's and Brown's scoring output over the last eight games they've played together:

Entering Saturday, the Celtics are just one of two teams with players ranked inside the top 16 in points per game.

Tatum is eighth on that list with a career-high 27.1 points per game, while Brown is 16th at 23.6 points per game. The other team with two players in the top 16 is the Chicago Bulls. DeMar DeRozan is sixth at 28 points per game, while Zach LaVine is 13th at 24.6 points.

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Defense has been the catalyst to the Celtics' remarkable success over the last three months. Boston ranks No. 1 in defensive rating and veteran guard Marcus Smart is arguably the top candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.

But we shouldn't forget about the team's improvement on the offensive end of the court, either. Having two dynamic scorers in Tatum and Brown -- both of whom are playing at a very high level right now -- will make the Celtics a pretty tough team to slow down come playoff time.

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