Dialogue about who the second-best player on the Boston Celtics should be during the 2023-24 season kicked up on October 14, with Jared Weiss sharing his belief on the “Celtics Beat” podcast that newcomer Jrue Holiday is already the third-best player, but could surpass Jaylen Brown as the team’s No. 2.
“I think Jrue Holiday is the third-best player on this team now and honestly could give Jaylen Brown a run for second-best player on this team and I would want to maximize his time on the floor,” Weiss said.
This prompted Dan Greenberg to rebut that something would have gone “drastically wrong” for Brown and Kristaps Porzingis if Holiday ended up being the No. 2 option on the Celtics behind Jayson Tatum.
“As good as Holiday is as a player and as important as he is going to be for the Celts to win the title…..if he ends up being their 2nd best player things have gone drastically wrong with both Jaylen and Porzingis,” Greenberg wrote.
Boston Celtics won’t win title if Jayson Tatum doesn’t have superstar leap
The word “superstar” is, quite frankly, arbitrary in NBA terms. While there are certain contractual incentives that do indicate what constitutes one in the new CBA, the narrative among the masses still omits certain players who don’t rise to the occasion when needed most.
Because of the 2022 NBA Finals and Game 7 of the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals, Tatum isn’t yet christened as a star by the majority due to his notable struggles in those series. Sure, Tatum suffered an ankle injury against the Miami Heat this past May in the deciding game, but it should’ve never gotten to that point.
Greenberg pointed out that determining the C’s second-best player is a futile exercise since it’s Tatum’s standing that will ultimately determine whether Banner 18 is attainable for Boston moving forward.
“Honestly pick whoever you want to be the Celts’ 2nd/3rd/4th best player because unless Tatum takes the leap into the Kawhi/Giannis/Steph/Jokic God level in the playoffs/Finals it won’t really matter,” Greenberg prefaced before saying, “As we’ve seen, to win the title your #1 has to make that leap.”
Joe Mazzulla has a pecking order to figure out, but at No. 1 sits Tatum — and if he isn’t going to be the glue that ties it all together, then the star-studded Celtics risk falling apart in a spectacular way.