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Jayson Tatum, left, and Jaylen Brown, right, could be even more important as leaders for the Boston Celtics this season after the season-long suspension of Coach Ime Udoka, center. AP file photo

BOSTON — When the Boston Celtics opened training camp Tuesday, the differences were obvious even if the team didn’t act like anything was amiss during practice. Ime Udoka is suspended for the season for violating team policies, which pushed interim coach Joe Mazzulla to the forefront. While Mazzulla said the Celtics are doing everything they can to make the transition seamless, there are bound to be some lumps amid the adjustments.

The Celtics lost their head coach in Udoka, but they do return nearly their entire roster from last season – and that’s where their advantage lies. They start with a familiar leadership structure, though they did add a veteran voice in guard Malcolm Brogdon. The Celtics are Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown’s team, which is why their leadership is so important during a time of strife.

“I plan to be a little bit more vocal, a little bit more aggressive in holding myself more accountable,” Brown said. “The more responsibility grows, the more leadership comes with it. There’s steps that we’re all taking individually and as a group, so I think that will be good for us.”

Tatum, 24, is the Celtics’ best player and showcased his talent to the rest of the league. He averaged a career-high 26.9 points and 8.0 rebounds last season on his way to first-team All-NBA honors, and proved he could be the No. 1 option on a contender. While Tatum has taken some heat as a leader, those critics were quiet the deeper the Celtics went in the playoffs.

Brown, 25, enters his seventh season in the NBA and is looking to build off that Finals appearance. He dealt with injuries last season and took some lumps during the playoffs, but also proved he can be the scorer the Celtics need to make it to the Finals.

“I feel like I’m very vocal,” Tatum said. “I might not be the loudest guy – especially in front of the camera. But for the guys in that locker room, when we’re in practice or on the plane or on the court, my presence is felt in my voice. We all put a lot into this game, so we all have the right to give input to each other. That’s all I try to do when I see something: try to help guys out.”

While the team is plenty talented, how it navigates the off-court drama will be one of the main storylines early in the season. That responsibility falls on Mazzulla as the interim coach, but the leadership in the locker room will also be highlighted. And that’s where guys like Tatum and Brown will look to step up.

Brown said he knows the type of influence he has on the locker room.

“We’ve always been a competitive group,” Brown said. “Even last year, we were competitive and now we’re playing a little bit smarter. We get into our spacing, we pushing the ball ahead, we more conscious about turning it over, and guys are comfortable in what they do best. I think we were competitive last year, just this year some of the things is like working together a little bit more smooth, so it looks a little better for us.”

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