Jaylen Brown’s utilization wasn’t actually a difficulty for the Celtics’ offense in Recreation 4


“I believe it’s a steadiness and it’s a duality.”

Jaylen Brown
Jaylen Brown is enjoying nicely within the postseason. Barry Chin/Globe Employees

After the Celtics dropped Recreation 4 to the 76ers on Sunday, Jaylen Brown raised some eyebrows when he stated he wanted to “demand the ball somewhat bit extra.”

Brown’s feedback got here in response to a question about his efficiency within the second half, when he took simply 5 pictures – none of which got here in time beyond regulation. Brown began the sport red-hot from the sphere and scored 12 of the Celtics’ first 14 factors, however he was comparatively quiet the remainder of the best way, ending with 23 factors.

The Celtics rely closely on their two stars – Brown and Jayson Tatum – and when a type of stars is off, it could throw the steadiness of the staff out of whack. So was Brown’s utilization within the second half on Sunday a difficulty that ought to fear the Celtics, or at the least immediate some change?

Probably not. In reality, till these disastrous last seconds, there wasn’t something incorrect with the Celtics’ offense in any respect. 

Let’s begin with the quote itself, which was tailored (presumably unintentionally) to whip the web right into a frenzy. Twitter loves when a star expresses one thing that may very well be interpreted as displeasure towards his franchise, thus prompting a commerce demand within the offseason. 

However in context, Brown sounds much less like he’s indignant about his function and extra like he was looking for a passable reply to a troublesome query, which was about how he can “develop into extra lively” within the offense.

The Celtics’ star paused for a number of seconds earlier than answering.

“Uh,” Brown stated. “I suppose I’ve acquired to demand the ball somewhat bit extra. I assumed good issues occurred once I had it in my arms. However I assumed our offense was okay. I assumed we chipped away, we made big-time pictures, we acquired nice seems to be all recreation lengthy, and we simply got here up brief ultimately.”

Be aware the place Brown’s reply ends, slightly than the place it begins. He believed good issues occurred when he had the ball in his arms, which was objectively true – Brown was a tidy 10-for-16 from the sphere, and he recorded 5 assists (4 of which created 3-pointers) and only one turnover. He was environment friendly and sharp offensively. 

However the Celtics’ offense performed nicely as a complete too, which was additionally a key a part of Brown’s reply. They hit pictures after they wanted to forestall the sport from getting out of hand. They made a giant rally down the stretch and had alternatives to win. They bounced again after a irritating begin. 

As Al Horford put it: “I noticed one thing. I noticed some progress in our group, issues we haven’t been in a position to do all yr, and [we were] in a position to do them tonight on this sort of stage. I’m very inspired for our group.”

Brown didn’t look notably angsty at any level throughout Recreation 4 both. He confirmed some emotion a number of instances – with 7:33 remaining within the third quarter, Sensible seemed off Brown and handed to Horford as an alternative, and Brown clapped in frustration, however Horford canned the 3-pointer.

A short time later, Brown known as for the ball in transition as Sensible introduced it up – an inexpensive request for some of the prolific fast-break threats within the league, averaging 1.25 factors per transition possession – however Sensible seemed him off, which appeared to harass Brown till Sensible discovered Tatum for a layup as an alternative.

These mildly emotional moments appeared pure and applicable, particularly within the context of a extremely aggressive playoff recreation, they usually didn’t linger.  

However ought to Brown have really demanded the ball extra? Once more: There’s no actual proof that claims he ought to. The Celtics scored at a wholesome clip, notching 121.1 factors per 100 possessions, and Brown was concerned within the offense early. Within the second half, Tatum assumed extra accountability, and that labored nicely too – he completed the second half 6-for-8 from the ground, and each he and Brown recorded 4 second-half assists. Within the first half, Brown had 27.7 p.c utilization to Tatum’s 20.8. Within the second half, these roles flipped – Tatum had 27.9 p.c utilization to Brown’s 13.2 p.c. Possibly Brown ought to have been extra concerned, however the Celtics had an offensive ranking of 139.0 and a internet ranking of 19.0. It’s exhausting to argue with the outcomes.

Brown sounded confused when one other reporter adopted up on demanding the ball extra, asking what he believes ought to change going ahead.

“I’m undecided find out how to reply the query,” Brown stated. “What wants to vary? I’m undecided. I simply assume that we have to proceed to execute, proceed to emphasise what’s working, and I believe that may carry us over. I believe we had nice moments on this recreation. I believe we had nice seems to be offensively.”

Feelings run excessive after a loss, and it’s honest for followers to wonder if the Celtics ought to run extra pick-and-roll by means of their stars (Warmth guard Gabe Vincent runs extra pick-and-rolls per recreation within the playoffs than each Tatum and Brown, which appears lower than supreme).

However the Celtics had each alternative to win Sunday’s contest till the ultimate minute, and Brown continued a rock-solid playoff run for almost your entire recreation. His involvement within the offense wasn’t actually a difficulty, particularly in comparison with his unhealthy choice to double Embiid and the offense’s incapacity to create a top quality shot within the last 18.2 seconds of time beyond regulation.

In a Zoom name on Monday, Mazzulla famous – when requested about Brown’s feedback – that Brown additionally stated the offense acquired nice seems to be and executed nicely. 

“I believe it’s a steadiness and it’s a duality,” Mazzulla stated. “I believe two issues might be true: I believe he has to get extra seems to be, and when the ball is in arms, good issues do occur. And I believe he’s doing a terrific job of creating performs for us. 

“On the similar time, our clutch-time offense was 1.35, and we did a terrific job as a staff of executing and preventing for one of the best shot. I believe each of these issues might be true, and we simply need to make a aware effort to proceed to execute.”

The Celtics have proven that they’ll rating in opposition to the Sixers. Brown will proceed to be an integral a part of that, whether or not or not he begins demanding the ball extra. 

Originally posted 2023-05-09 10:01:41.