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The Boston Celtics play so far this year is being reflected in the 2018 All-Star fan vote. Despite being criticized for being too much of a popularity contest, the fans have served Boston’s studs well as they’re tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the most players in the top 20 voting in their respective conference with four members each.

Lead by MVP-candidate Kyrie Irving, who is atop all Eastern Conference guards in voting, Al Horford, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have also earned their way into the East’s top-20 vote-getters. And as the totals stood yesterday, Big Al or Boston's rookie of the year (ROTY) candidate would be heading to Los Angeles in February for the festivities as the 6th forward ... and rightfully so.



Horford has pretty much been the anchor to the league's best defense all year long. Continuing to prove himself at times as Boston's best facilitator with a team-high 5.2 assists playing mostly as the 5, Al's stepped up his game on the glass grabbing 7.9 boards per game this year as well, up from 6.8 in 2016-17'.

Beyond everything else he's doing, #42 seems to have developed himself into quite the quiet leader for the Celtics too (sorry for the tongue twister). Since Uncle Drew’s arrival in Boston this past August, Horford's enjoyed being able to step out of the media spotlight while stepping into more of a leadership role for his team. It's a situation any 31-year old vet seeking a ring would love.


As far as Tatum goes, what hasn't been said about the Celtic superstar-potential rookie? The University of Duke product has seemingly done everything coach Brad Stevens has asked out of him on the offensive end this year and even then some. And who thought, the kid can actually play some defense too as well posting just less than a block a game.

Leading the league in three-point percentage at the halfway mark now this year, Tatum's flawless transition from the college perimeter to the NBA one has been freakish. Yes, guys who were really good shooters in college usually can translate that at some level in the professional ranks but the funny thing about the ROTY hopeful is he wasn't even heralded as a great shooter out of Mike Kryzezewski's program.

Albeit being known as a great scorer, there were concerns about his shot and how #0 would develop it while transitioning into the league. Less than seven months later, Boston's still 19-year old rookie is now the youngest player in league history to average 14 points per game and shoot 50% from the field over half a season. Yeah, I think we can put the "he might struggle to shoot from the NBA three" thought to bed.



Receiving the fewest votes of any player in the top-20 in either conference, it's still nice to see Jaylen Brown getting the love he deserves as well. The second-year Celtic has shown amazing improvement from even last year in almost every facet of his game.

Whether he's getting out on the break and throwing down over someone, spotting up for a quick transition three-ball, locking down the opposing team's top scorer, or catching alley-oops/making shots from 30-feet in the middle of a bomb-cyclone, he deserves recognition for his play this year.

For those not sure what a bomb-cyclone is, it's the thing that happened here in Boston yesterday. You know, the thing previously known to meteorologists and still known to normal people like you and me as a blizzard or snowstorm? Yeah, that one.





I hope you enjoyed the quick lesson in meteorology but they'll be a lot more lessons learned in Celtics basketball by NBA fans if four of our guys end up heading to L.A. in a month. Not even bombogenesis (how's that spelt again?) can stop this team now, folks. Not even BOMBOGENESIS!!!



If you want to help the Celtics get there, cast your votes right here or post on social media using the hashtag #NBAVote. Also how do you guys feel about the voting so far? Let us know in the comments below!



Follow Brendan on Twitter for more Celtics/NBA info at @brendan_ronan_.



Sources:
Photo via Isaac Baldizon, GQ
Photo via Matt Stone, The Boston Herald

Brendan Ronan 1/05/2018 06:44:00 PM Edit
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