Al Horford is talking about how special the young players on this team are
Everyone can easily see how good both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have been this season. very few expected either of them to have the kind of role that has been carved out this season, and Al Horford has noticed what a special duo they are, and can become.
When discussing Brown, Al Horford said “He is our ‘X Factor’ with his physicality. I know every time he gets out on the break & gets one of those dunks it gets me hyped”. Brown is 21 years old, playing on the top team in the Eastern Conference, along with one of the best centers and best point guards in the NBA, and his teammates see him as an X-Factor.
Brown has proven to be absolutely vital on both ends, and he is embracing the mentality that makes this Celtics team so great. It is easy to see the kind of energy that Brown brings on both night, and when you combine that with his physical dominance it makes a lot more sense that Horford is praising him like that.
Horford is also excited about the other youngster, and had this to say of rookie Tatum: “He’s 19 now. But wait until you see him in 2 years. He’s way ahead of where we expected him to be”. Tatum has truly shattered any kind of expectations for a 19 year old rookie, and is doing all the things you never see in a rookie.
Horford can see what a special player Tatum already is, while he is in a position to grow more than anyone else on this roster. At this point, there really is no measurable ceiling for Tatum, because he is shutting down any kind of limitations.
It should not be a surprise to hear Horford talking like this, because they have become one of the most unique situations in the NBA. Contending teams are not supposed to have two players this young, have this big of an impact.
They do not make the mistakes that hurt the team, they do everything in rhythm, they have adapted perfectly to everything that Stevens wanted, and they are having a phenomenal impact on both ends.
There is nothing but great things to say about either of these players, so it would not surprise me to hear from playing come out and talk about them the way Horford has.