Are Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum top-10 players? Celtics Pregame Live crew can't agree

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Darren Hartwell
·2 min read
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Are Brown and Tatum top-10 players? Scal, Perk and Abby have heated debate originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have taken the NBA by storm over the last two seasons.

Tatum earned third-team All-NBA honors in 2019-20 and continues to play like one of the 10 best players in the league, while Brown is a fringe MVP candidate after his scorching start to the 2020-21 season.

But one man isn't quite ready to brand the Boston Celtics duo as NBA elites.

After the Celtics' 119-103 win over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night -- led by Tatum and Brown's combined 50 points -- ex-Celtic Brian Scalabrine got into it with Kendrick Perkins and Abby Chin about whether Tatum and Brown already are top-10 players.

"My standard is the NBA Finals. My standard is championships," Scalabrine said on "Celtics Postgame Live."  "Here's the problem: I'm not destroying the guys. I'm just holding them to a standard. ... I think by the end of the year, they will be in that conversation. But right now, they are not in that conversation.

"Historically speaking, NBA champions have top-five players and top-10 players. ... All I like is banners. You guys are trying to anoint them kings of the world."

Chin and Perkins didn't take too kindly to that last point from Scal.

"We're not trying to put them in the Hall of Fame," Chin said. "We're trying to give them their flowers as they come."

Should Brown be in the MVP conversation after latest big game?

"I'm very disappointed in you," Perkins added. "From what you saw in Jaylen Brown in the bubble, the way he tore it up to now what he's doing right now, the transition and the way he's balling out -- I just can't believe you right now."

Scalabrine's point is that the sample size is too small for Tatum and Brown, who have yet to reach the NBA Finals and shouldn't be in the conversation with title-winning elites like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard.

But you could argue Nikola Jokic, Damian Lillard and Luka Doncic all are top-10 players, and none have sniffed the Finals. Sounds like the Celtics will just have to go win Banner 18 to prove Scal wrong.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Indiana
+125+2.5O 217.5
Boston
-150-2.5U 217.5