Jrue Holiday gives great insight into leadership of Tatum, Brown

Jrue Holiday gives great insight into leadership of Tatum, Brown originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown aren't the most experienced members of the Boston Celtics (Al Horford owns that title), nor do they have an NBA championship on their resumes (Jrue Holiday fits that bill).

But make no mistake: The Celtics are Tatum and Brown's team, and they're demonstrating it this postseason.

Both All-Stars have stepped up as leaders since the offseason departure of Marcus Smart, previously the team's longest-tenured player. And according to Holiday, that's manifesting itself in the playoffs by Tatum and Brown taking their on-court communication to a new level.

"Man, just talking, yapping, being as loud as possible, as communicative as possible," Holiday told NBC Sports Boston's Abby Chin on Monday at Boston's shootaround in Cleveland ahead of Game 4 of their second-round series against the Cavaliers. "That's only gonna help us grow and help us be a better team, just how they're just yelling at everybody. So, it's been great."

We caught a glimpse of that communication in Game 3 with clips of a mic'd up Brown hyping up his teammates before tip-off -- “On the road, backs against the wall, where my dogs at?” -- and urging Tatum to make an impact coming out of a timeout -- "C’mon, Big Deuce! Tell 'em to stop playing with you!"

According to Holiday, Brown's barking in Game 3 wasn't an aberration, with the Jays making a continued effort to hold everyone accountable -- even a 33-year-old veteran like Holiday.

"For sure," Holiday replied when asked if Tatum and Brown get on him during games. "Especially (about) being aggressive. Obviously (I had) games there where I didn't shoot the ball well, but they've been on me about being aggressive and having to be a threat, because then that makes everybody else better."

Tatum and Brown haven't been perfect this postseason; Tatum in particular is averaging 23.1 points per game while shooting a team-worst 26.5 percent from 3-point range in the playoffs and has taken some criticism for his lack of offensive production relative to the regular season (26.9 points per game).

The 26-year-old has kept an even keel, however, responding to his critics with a game-high 33 points, 13 rebounds and six assists to power Boston to a 106-93 victory and 2-1 series lead.

"Obviously I know that they have high expectations for themselves, but I do think that people put a lot of expectations on them where it's kind of like, you're not really in the circle," Holiday said of Tatum and Brown. "But I think for them, the way that they handle it, the way that they come out and play every day, whether they have a good game or a bad game, how they respond to the games like that, I couldn't -- I'm not even sure I could do it the way that they do it.

"Just super glad to be on the same team as them, and how they handle themselves has always been so professional. So, the pressure and stuff that people put on them and how they handle it -- I don't know how they do it."

Check out Abby Chin's full interview with Holiday on Celtics Pregame Live, which starts at 6 p.m. ET on Monday ahead of Celtics-Cavs Game 4 in Cleveland. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.