In addition to Jayson Tatum's double-double, covered in a previous article, there is more hope on the horizon in the wake of Gordon Hayward's injury. Jaylen Brown's performance in last night's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers is foremost. I took Jaylen as the last pick in all of my fantasy basketball drafts. Nobody else wanted him. My opponents may regret leaving him on the board.

Brown played 39 minutes and had 25 points (career high), 6 rebounds and two steals. He is gaining confidence in his athleticism and skills, and it is now appearing that he will see a real boost in minutes this season. Both members of the Jay-Team thrived in this contest, and I see more of the same in the future. Other Celtics newcomers should see increased minutes, and once the cheers die down upon Gordon's return, we may be primed for the playoffs.

Another positive aspect of the Celts/Cavs game was the Celtics rebounding. As a team, they collected 46 rebounds, surpassing last season's average by several boards. Tatum had 10 boards (terrific), Marcus Smart had nine, Aron Baynes had five and Terry Rozier had three. Smart also had 12 points (on the usual bad shooting), three assists, two steals and two blocks. This is a common line for Marcus, but the nine boards stand out. Just plain toughness and determination. It was also great to see Baynes out there after his injury.

Kyrie Irving can not be ignored in this discussion. He has been invaluable. He had a great line last night, but the 10 assists stand out. In a discussion this morning on NBA TV, the analysts were talking about Kyrie's roll considering the Hayward injury. The analysts were split on whether his role would be to score more points or rack up more assists as he got his team mates more involved. His 10 assists might indicate the latter role. Kyrie is just a bundle of talent, and he really is in the spotlight now, just where he wanted to be. All of the opportunities are there as we await Gordon's return. Our readers are most likely as down in the dumps as we at CelticsLife are, but let's hear what you think about Boston's course.

Photo via Michael Reeves/Getty Images North America

Tom Lane 10/18/2017 11:18:00 AM Edit
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