Jayson Tatum's leaving Herbert Jones in his wake, great offense beating great defense, and Jaylen Brown's Tommy Point headline the top five plays from Friday's Celtics-Pelicans game. There's also Brown doing his best Ja Morant impersonation and Al Horford's thunderous throwdown.
Jayson Tatum Leaves Herbert Jones in His Wake
Jayson Tatum's hesitation before the crossover gets Herbert Jones leaning to his right, allowing Tatum to come flying downhill into the paint. He then demonstrates control and a soft touch, slicing middle, switching hands, and finishing with a lefty layup.
Great Offense Beats Great Defense
Tatum was back at it in the second frame. Naji Marshall does well fighting over the Luke Kornet screen to stay matched up with Tatum. But using his momentum against him, the Celtics' star dribbles between his legs, snaps a crossover, then goes behind the back, getting Marshall on his right hip.
With Dyson Daniels pinching in with a foot in the paint and Jonas Valanciunas in the restricted area, Tatum decides the slight edge he has on Marshall is enough for him to elevate for a floater that gently bounces off the rim, the backboard, and then falls through the net.
Jaylen Brown's Ja Morant Impersonation
The entire time Jose Alvarado's in front of Jaylen Brown, he's shading Brown to his left shoulder. One way to look at his positioning is he's funneling him towards his help behind him. Another way is that he's giving Brown a path to build momentum and get to the rim.
Either way, Brown gets deep into the paint, then does his best Ja Morant impersonation, finishing with an acrobatic layup.
Al Horford's Thunderous Throwdown
What initially makes the play above is the help from Derrick White, contesting CJ McCollum's floater after the latter utilizes his shoulder to create separation (without fouling) from Tatum.
McCollum's the first to the ball after it hits the backboard, but Al Horford knocks it out of his hands, then secures the rock and starts a 4-1 fast break -- Grant Williams is ahead of the ball and off camera.
When Horford gets the ball back from Brown, he takes off for a thunderous one-handed slam. It's just a shame it wasn't on the same end of the court as Boston's bench, so their initial reaction was on camera.
Jaylen Brown's Tommy Point
Brown goes strong at McCollum but can't get the layup to go. But he beats Larry Nance Jr. to the ball, keeps his miss alive, grabs it again, and the third time's the charm, as he gathers himself, then finishes off the glass.