Stephen A. Smith takes a JIBE at Jayson Tatum for not being as reliable as Jaylen Brown for Boston Celtics

Stephen A. Smith praises Jaylen Brown's reliability in the playoffs, but highlights Jayson Tatum's struggles


Stephen A. Smith takes a JIBE at Jayson Tatum for not being as reliable as Jaylen Brown for Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown has been hailed as the team’s most reliable asset in the postseason, according to ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith. While Jayson Tatum is undoubtedly the team’s best player, Smith believes Brown has outperformed him in the playoffs over the last two years.

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“Brown has been a more reliable asset for the Boston Celtics than Tatum,” Smith said on First Take on Friday. “Assuming that Brown is going to continue to do what he’s been doing, you’re going to look at Tatum… If they falter and fall, you’re going to look at Jayson Tatum and ask yourself, ‘what did he do?”

Smith’s comments come after Tatum scored just seven points in the Celtics’ Game 2 blowout victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. While Brown contributed 25 points to the win, Tatum’s lackluster performance did not seem to affect the team’s overall success. However, as the playoffs progress, the Celtics will need Tatum to step up if they hope to make another run at the championship.

“Brown has been a more reliable asset for the Boston Celtics than Tatum. And so when you look at it from that perspective, assuming that Brown is going to continue to do what he’s been doing, you are going to look at Tatum…they won the other night by 34 points…Brown had about 25 points…Tatum had seven points.

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Smith added:

Now it’s not a big deal because they won the game. But as you reflect on this team, if they falter and fall, you’re gonna look at Jayson Tatum and ask yourself, ‘what did he do.?’ With Embiid you’re gonna say, ‘was he healthy or not,’ because we know what he can do when he’s health.”

Related: “Jaylen Brown was the best Celtic not this fraud” – NBA Twitter CLOWNS Jayson Tatum for horrendous Game 5 performance against Hawks

Jayson Tatum’s Playoff Struggles

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Jayson Tatum (image via AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

While Tatum has been a standout player for the Boston Celtics throughout the regular season, his performance in the playoffs has been inconsistent. In the 2022 playoffs, Tatum averaged 25.6 points per game and led the Celtics to the NBA Finals. However, in the deciding Game 6 against the Golden State Warriors, Tatum struggled, scoring just 13 points.

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Tatum has once more displayed flashes of greatness this season, averaging 26.1 points per game in the postseason. He has, however, also put in some underwhelming efforts, such as the aforementioned seven-point effort in Game 2 against the 76ers.

Tatum must step up if the Celtics are to have any chance of going far in the playoffs this year. The team cannot rely solely on Brown to handle the weight, despite the fact that he has been a dependable asset in the postseason.

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