Boston Celtics All-Stars left out of Bleacher Reports Best NBA Duos

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are good players but don't they have what it takes to win a title with the Boston Celtics in the future Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are good players but don't they have what it takes to win a title with the Boston Celtics in the future Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Earlier this week, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz released rankings of the NBA’s Best Superstar Duos. Immediately, most NBA fans would think about the Nuggets duo of Jokic and Murray as they are coming off a Championship run. Swartz however, has Jokic and Murray listed as his third best duo, following the likes of Phoenix’s Booker and Durant and Milwaukee’s Antetokounmpo and Holiday. To round out the rest of the list, Lakers duo of James Davis and lastly, the Dallas duo of Irving and Doncic. While all these pairs are deserving of being on this list, it is completely irrational to not include the Boston Celtics pair of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as one of, if not the best NBA duo for a variety of different reasons.


There is a saying in sports that goes along the lines of “the best ability is availability.” While some may argue they would rather have a superstar play half the season and be ready for the playoffs, Tatum and Brown are unique in their ability to stay on the floor throughout the entirety of the season.

In the 2022-23 season, Tatum played in 74 regular season games and all 20 of the C’s playoff games. Jaylen Brown played in 67 regular season games and all 20 of the Boston Celtics games in the playoffs as well. They combine for the most games played compared to any other duo on the list.

With many of the other duos aging, it is hard for me to understand how someone would rather any other duo than the Boston Celtics’ beloved “Jays.” To think about the fact they are entering their prime NBA years leaves more room for growth and optimism.

On the other side of things, one could say the opposite for many others on this list. Jrue Holiday is 33 years old, Lebron James is 38 years old, Anthony Davis has an injury history and is coming up on his 31st birthday. Kevin Durant is turning 35 before the start of next season, and Irving is getting up there at 31 years old as well. While I am not denying the talent of these guys, it is hard for me to choose them over the young, available, all-NBA duo on the Boston Celtics on a list that is evaluating the best partnerships.

Ability to Win

Although being available is a pivotal part of being successful, it does not necessarily guarantee winning it itself. With availability comes responsibility and players are still required to perform if they want to see their teams do well in the NBA. For Tatum and Brown, they led the Celtics to the second-best record in the NBA this past season. They ended one game behind the Bucks for first place in the entire NBA.

Comparatively, the Dallas Mavericks were in a playoff spot when Kyrie Irving got traded to them in February. After playing 16 games alongside Doncic, the Mavericks went 5-11 during that span and ended up missing the playoffs. How this duo who lost more than twice the amount of games they won, could be included on the list of “best duos” is shocking to me.

Not only do Tatum and Brown perform in the regular season, but they have consistently made deep playoff runs. Since Tatum joined the league, the Boston Celtics have gone to four Eastern Conference finals, more than any other duo on the list. Although they do not yet have a ring to prove it, there is no denying Tatum and Brown’s ability to put their teams in positions to win.

Not to mention, Tatum and Brown are only 25 and 26 years old, respectively. They are the youngest duo on the list and they have shown they are capable of competing with the best, as shown by their head-to-head records.

Against the Bucks

In the two games Tatum and Brown played against Antetokounmpo and Holiday this year, they combined for 70 points both times in two blowout wins. The Celtics won by 41 and 21 points in these games.

Against the Lakers

In two games against Davis and James this season, the Celtics duo averaged 68 points per game and 22 rebounds per game. In both those games, the Celtics as a team came out on top, defeating the Lakers by 4 points both times. While Davis and James both played well in these games, it is hard to undermine the Celtics stars when it comes to playing against the NBA’s most talented.

Against the Nuggets

In the single game the Celtics duo played against Jokic and Murray this season, they combined for 59 points and 16 rebounds as the Celtics overcame the Nuggets by a score of 131 to 112. While the Nuggets duo ended up winning a championship this year, it is also worth noting that the Celtics duo were second closest when compared to the rest of the list.

A Historically Good Boston Celtics duo

When talking about Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, one may not immediately compare them to the all-time great NBA duos. After all, they have only been in the league for so long and do not have a ring to show for it (yet).

However, there are some stats that show we might be closer to discussing the two as an all-time great partnership than many people might think. For starters, Tatum and Brown averaged a combined 56.7 points per game this season. Certainly, an impressive feat considering how many games both of them played. This was the second-highest average of the duos mentioned, sitting behind Doncic and Irving.

Additionally, according to an article by ClutchPoints the Boston Celtics stars were the “first pair of teammates to have a season with twelve 30-point games as a duo since Shaq and Kobe (2002-03).” Considering the insane duos the NBA has experienced during that time, seems to me that Tatum and Brown deserve more praise as a historic duo.

Not only that, but the Celtics partnership also has the best winning percentage in games where they both scored 30-plus points.

When looking at the other names on the list and knowing the success these other historic duos had, many NBA fans will be shocked to see Tatum and Brown leading that list. For Celtics fans, I am sure this list does not come as a surprise considering the many dominant performances the duo have combined for.

While some Celtics fans probably were not all that excited for Jaylen Brown to sign that huge supermax extension, I hope this article helped reassure some of you that it is only a matter of time before the young tandem breaks through and brings a championship home to Boston.