NBA

Marcus Smart expresses frustration with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown: “They don’t want to pass the ball.”

Nov 1, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) reacts during the first half against the Chicago Bulls at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics are off to a 2-5 start, and it looks like there’s still plenty of hitches to work out. Monday’s loss featured a brutal collapse for the Celtics against the revamped Chicago Bulls. After leading 96-77 with 2:26 left in the third quarter, the Celtics were outscored 14-51 by Chicago and lost 128-114. Marcus Smart had some comments about the game in his postgame presser and expressed thoughts on how Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown affected the offense.

“I would just like to play basketball. Every team knows we’re trying to go to Jayson and Jaylen. Every team is programmed and studied to stop Jayson and Jaylen. I think everybody’s scouting report is make those guys try to pass the ball. They don’t want to pass the ball, and that’s something that they’re going to learn. They’re still learning, you know. And we’re proud of the progress they’re making, but they’re going to have to make another step, and find ways to not only create for themselves but create for others on this team.” 

Marcus Smart

Though Marcus Smart commended Brown and Tatum for their strides as facilitators, the comments also demand more from the two All-Stars. Tatum and Brown combined for 46 points on 17/30 shooting through the first three-quarters of the Bulls game. In the fourth quarter, Brown and Tatum combined for 2 points on 1/10 shooting. Four of the five Celtics starters recorded a +/- of -20 or worse in that period. For the Celtics, this game marks their fifth loss to an Eastern Conference team. 

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - FEBRUARY 21: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics and Jayson Tatum #0 talk against the New Orleans Pelicans during a game at the Smoothie King Center on February 21, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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A tale of two teams

While the Celtics have been struggling, the Bulls have been surging. The Bulls, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2016-2017, are off to a 6-1 start. The Bulls shifted to win-now mode during the offseason and added vital pieces in Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan. These pieces will aid the Bulls’ All-Star duo of Zach Lavine and Nikola Vucevic in what appears to be the most promising season since Derrick Rose was a Bull. 

Winning in the early season is one thing, but it takes grit and determination to put together an entire NBA season. Whether the Bulls can maintain this momentum will be a key storyline in the Eastern Conference. With hopes of a deep playoff run and plenty of talent, this seems to be a crucial season for the direction of this franchise. We’ll see if the Bulls can prove that they’re legitimate in the coming weeks and months.

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5 responses to “Marcus Smart expresses frustration with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown: “They don’t want to pass the ball.””

  1. […] only team with title aspirations off to a slow start. The Brooklyn Nets have started 4-3, and the Boston Celtics are off to a turbulent 2-5. While it is a long season, the sooner these teams get back on the right track, the […]

  2. […] only team with title aspirations off to a slow start. The Brooklyn Nets have started 4-3, and the Boston Celtics are off to a turbulent 2-5. While it is a long season, the sooner these teams get back on the right track, the […]

  3. […] only team with title aspirations off to a slow start. The Brooklyn Nets have started 4-3, and the Boston Celtics are off to a turbulent 2-5. While it is a long season, the sooner these teams get back on the right track, the […]

  4. […] season 2-5, issues began springing up between core Celtics players. Particularly, Marcus Smart was imploring Tatum and Brown to get their teammates involved. However, the Celtics’ early season struggles were likely the byproduct of other […]

  5. […] season 2-5, issues began springing up between core Celtics players. Particularly, Marcus Smart was imploring Tatum and Brown to get their teammates involved. However, the Celtics’ early season struggles were likely the byproduct of other […]

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