The combination of home cooking, a three-day layoff between games, and a dismal opponent in the New York Knicks helped the #Boston Celtics improve to 2-2 on the young NBA season via a 110-89 victory last night. It was the young guns that did most of the heavy lifting on offense as #Jaylen Brown, celebrating his 21st birthday, led the way with 23 points while #Jayson Tatum added a career-high 22 points and Kyrie Irving chipped in 20 points of his own.

After a fast start, Celtics never looked back

Celtics fans knew that it would take some time for the team to adjust to the devastating injury to forward Gordon Hayward [VIDEO] less than six minutes into the season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Advertisements
Advertisements

As head coach Brad Stevens worked through a few different lineup combinations, Boston dropped a game against the Milwaukee Bucks and defeated the Philadelphia 76ers before welcoming the Knicks to the TD Garden on Tuesday night.

The Green jumped on the Knicks early, outscoring New York 30 to 17 in the opening quarter. Brown was locked in immediately and had 13 points at the end of the first. It was more of the same in the second quarter as the Celtics limited the Knicks to just 33 points in the first half. Perhaps the most impressive part of the win was how the team defended Kristaps Porzingas, who finished with just 12 points on 3-12 shooting after entering the night averaging 32 points per game.

Al Horford was active on the glass, collecting 13 rebounds to go with 13 points of his own. With guard Marcus Smart still nursing ankle injuries, the bench was led by Terry Rozier (8 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists) and Daniel Theis (11 points, 5 rebounds).

Advertisements

Brown and Tatum continue to impress

While the Hayward injury was a setback to a Celtics season that had high expectations, the loss has meant increased minutes and opportunities for forwards Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. The duo seems to be up to the challenge and the performance last night suggests that the bright future envisioned by General Manager Danny Ainge may come sooner than later.

For his part, Brown was aggressive on both ends of the court. He showed little hesitation with his shot and attacked the basket with regularity, taking a team-high 16 attempts from the field. Brown's athleticism was on full display as well, exemplified by his breakaway reverse dunk in the first quarter. The second-year player is now averaging 18.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game through the first four contests. If this continues, expect Brown to be in the conversation for most improved player.

The rookie Tatum has been just as productive if not more impressive considering he's just 19 years old and already found himself in the starting lineup.

Advertisements

The best part of his game against the Knicks was his efficiency from three-point distance as he went 4-6 from beyond the arc. Tatum's game seems to be complimenting Brown's, allowing him to set up his shot while Brown drives the lane. The former Duke Blue Devil is averaging 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.