Celtics

Jaylen Brown after concussion: 'My mom definitely said no more dunking'

Jaylen Brown after concussion: 'My mom definitely said no more dunking'

In his first meeting with the media since suffering an ugly concussion, Jaylen Brown was willing to make jokes about the moment which terrified Boston Celtics players and fans.

"Yeah, my mom definitely said no more dunking," Brown said Thursday at Celtics shootaround. "That's what she told me."

But it wasn't all jokes from Brown, who said he was eyeing a return for Sunday's game against the Kings. The Boston Celtics forward was frank about the severity of the moment.

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"I think it's just a blessing that I didn't need a stretcher or anything to have to walk off the floor with," Brown said. "It's just a scary situation to be in. You never want to be in that situation where people are saying, 'Pray for you.'"

During the Celtics' win over the Timberwolves on March 9, Brown went for a dunk in transition, but slipped off the rim and fell backward onto his head in an awkward position. He convulsed on the court for a moment before the Celtics training staff rushed to treat him. After a few minutes, he rose and walked off the court.

"When I fell, I was completely knocked out," he said. "I remember them saying, 'Yeah, we're going to need a stretcher,' and something came over me and I just got right up. ... I remember waking up and there was a bunch of people standing around me and I was like, 'What the hell is going on?' And I had no idea I had been out for 30 seconds or whatever they said I was out for. I just remember waking up, and there were a bunch of people around me and I tried to get up and they were like, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa.' And I was like, 'What's the big deal.' And that's all I remember to be honest."

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Brown has missed five games, but could end that streak at six if he can return Sunday in Sacramento. Brown is averaging 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 30.9 minutes per game this season.

    NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

    Bucks approaching Game 5 as if they'll see Smart

    Bucks approaching Game 5 as if they'll see Smart

    BOSTON – When it comes to the playoffs, it’s always a good idea to have as many contingency plans as possible.

    For the Milwaukee Bucks, that means making sure they are prepared to see Marcus Smart make his series debut tonight.

    The 6-foot-4 guard has been given clearance to potentially play in tonight’s pivotal Game 5 matchup.

    As much as Smart and the Celtics would love for him to be on the floor tonight, Brad Stevens cautions that his return tonight is not a given.

    “He still has to go through some things later this morning after our shootaround, and then we’ll see how he feels after that,” Stevens told reporters. “If he feels good, then he’s been cleared physically to go. If he has any pain or anything comes up, then we’ll hold him out.”

    Regardless of how those tests go, the Bucks are approaching Game 5 as if Smart will be on the floor at some point.

    And while he hasn’t played in more than a month, the Bucks are well aware of how impactful a potential return by Smart can be.

    Khris Middleton is one of the Bucks players who'll see plenty of Smart.

    “He’s a competitor,” Middleton told NBC Sports Boston. “He goes hard. He’s a crafty player, a smart player. Great defensive player. So, you’ve just gotta be smart with him. He’s a guy that can make plays with the ball in his hands and knock down some big shots. Just gotta do a great job of trying to contain him if he plays tonight. We’ve just gotta be aware of him on the defensive side.”

    Milwaukee interim coach Joe Prunty acknowledged Smart is indeed on the scouting report for tonight’s game.

    “We know how he plays. We know how he plays within their system,” Prunty said. “He’ll definitely add an element for them. If he does play, we’re prepared for that.”

    A potential Smart return comes at a time when the Celtics’ defense, which came into the postseason with a league-best defensive rating of 101.5, has actually been among the worst defenses in the playoffs.

    Boston’s has had a defensive rating of 99.1 when Smart has played.

    And while there’s no telling if Smart in the lineup will make that big a difference to the team’s defense against the Bucks, there’s no denying Smart playing tonight will provide a much-needed boost for Boston.

    “He does a good job for them at both ends of the floor, by defending and on offense, moving the ball, facilitate a lot on the offensive end for them,” said Milwaukee’s Thon Maker. “With us, we have to find a way to match his energy if he does play tonight.”

    Even though Smart hasn’t played in a competitive game in more than a month, the Bucks have every intention of going at him as though he had played in every game of this series.

    “He’s still been working,” Middleton said. “You can’t disrespect him just because he hasn’t played in a while. You have to play him like he’s been playing all year long or this whole series, which is, get after him some too.”

    NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

    Marcus Smart physically cleared to play

    celtics_marcus_smart_111917.jpg
    File Photo

    Marcus Smart physically cleared to play

    The Celtics might have a big piece back for Tuesday night's Game 5 against the Bucks. 

    Marcus Smart, out since last month after undergoing thumb surgery, has been physically cleared to play. The Celtics have yet to announce whether Smart will definitely play Tuesday, but it's hard to imagine the ultra-competitive Smart wouldn't. 

    Smart's potential return might go a long way towards the Celtics reclaiming their series lead after winning Games 1 and 2 before dropping two straight in Milwaukee. His impact on games against the Bucks during the regular season illustrated how much his defense can help.