Seeing Stars: C's Trio of Wings Dominate Magic in Orlando

ORLANDO – Dominant. Aggressive. Decisive.

Boston’s talented trio of star-level wings displayed all of those characteristics Friday night in Orlando.

Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown were forces to be reckoned with while they helped the Celtics to destroy the Magic, 100-75. All three players finished with plus/minus ratings of at least plus-20, which showcased just how impactful they really were.

As Brad Stevens stated simply after the game, “When Tatum, Hayward and Brown can all be aggressive and play off one another, that’s really good for us.”

It sure is, and that goes for both ends of the court.

All three players attacked the defense. All three players attacked with defense. All three players made great decisions.

The trio combined for 35 points, 16 rebounds, six assists, six steals and three blocked shots, and none of them played more than 24 minutes. They sliced up the defense with strong shooting, driving and passing, and they wreaked havoc with their length, strength and agility at the other end.

It’s not easy facing off against a team that has one player that can make such an impact, let alone three.

“We’re all versatile,” said Tatum. “We’re all alike, but different in ways.”

This is true at the offensive end. All three are long and athletic, but they possess skills that separate them from one another.

Tatum is more of a go-to scorer. Hayward is more of a facilitator. Brown is more of a dynamic driver.

Defensively, they’re eerily similar. All three players can defend four positions, and all three players possess the length and athleticism to cause nightmares for opponents. Tatum even claimed Friday night that he and Brown have their sights set on joining guard Marcus Smart as All-Defensive performers. Hayward is already regarded as a high-level defender.

Add it all up, and there’s a clear reason as to why Stevens is choosing to start all three of them alongside Kemba Walker, and why they’re expecting to share quite a bit of time on the court this season.

“We’re going to play a lot together,” Tatum said of the trio, “so we’ve got to build that chemistry and find ways to be productive.”

They’re certainly on the right track early on in the preseason. Their combined performance Friday night was exactly what the Celtics both want and need in order to be successful this season.

Dominant. Aggressive. Decisive.

Get used to it when it comes to the trio of Tatum, Hayward and Brown.


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