Not many teams have had better results in the last two NBA Drafts than the Boston Celtics.
In the 2016 Draft, Boston landed forward Jaylen Brown out of Cal. In the 2017 event, the Celtics picked up star Duke forward Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 overall pick.
Now, those young, athletic forwards are paying off in big ways for Boston, as the Celtics continue to play well as the 2017-18 season wears on.
On Saturday night, though, in a 117-92 win over the Chicago Bulls, the two young forwards combined for one of their best highlights yet. As you can see in the video below, Tatum grabs a steal on the Bulls' end of the court and fires a long outlet pass to Brown. Brown then makes a move and hits a streaking Tatum for an easy dunk to complete the full-court give-and-go:
Tatum was the star of the play, grabbing the steal, firing a nice pass to Brown and then hustling all the way down the floor to finish with the easy dunk. However, Brown also deserves some credit for creating some space for Tatum to come flying in.
Brown has been dealing with an injury lately, but played well on Saturday night, scoring 20 points and adding five rebounds and three assists. Coach Brad Stevens said after the game that the time off helped Brown re-energize (via Celtics.com):
“I think that that helps anybody," Stevens said. "It’s funny; we only played 48 hours ago, but I felt way better and so I’m sure that everyone else did. And I think that that’s just part of this whole thing. And you’re going to have days where you feel better than others, but you always have to try to play the right way and we need as many bodies as we can. I thought that the bench came in and did a lot of good things today, and that was really encouraging as well.”
Star point guard Kyrie Irving had a big night, scoring a game-high 25 points in the Celtics' big win.
With Brown and Tatum making significant contributions, the Celtics are currently atop the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 27-9. That mark is good for a 1.5-game lead over both the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Celtics play the Washington Wizards on Christmas Day in a matchup that is sure to be an intense one, as the two teams have formed quite a rivalry in recent years. If Brown and Tatum play like they did on Saturday night, though, Boston will have a good chance of winning.