Celtics

Rozier on Jaylen Brown: 'He's going to be scary'

Rozier on Jaylen Brown: 'He's going to be scary'

At the end of the day, NBA players aren’t all that different than you and I when it comes to wanting to see what rookies have to offer. 
 
So, as you might expect, Celtics players were eager to learn what Jaylen Brown had to offer against a real NBA team. 
 
Across the board, they liked what they saw as Brown came off the bench in Boston’s 92-89 loss to Philadelphia and scored eight points, with most coming in the fourth quarter.

MORE: Heinsohn: Jaylen Brown is going to be a heck of a player | Blakely: Celtics hope to navigate road to success
 
There was indeed some anxiousness early on for Brown, selected by Boston with the third overall pick in last June’s NBA draft. But those nerves soon gave way to a string of strong plays that included a powerful, one-handed dunk that brought the Mullins Center fans to their feet.

“He had the crowd going crazy, the bench going crazy,” said Terry Rozier, referring to Brown’s fourth-quarter dunk. “That’s something he’s going to be good for doing. He can jump out the gym. He plays very athletic. He’s going to see a lot of minutes this year, I feel.”
 
That would be unexpected, considering most of the minutes at the small forward position will be logged by Jae Crowder. 
 
But this is where Brown’s versatility comes into the play. 
 
Crowder is only 6-foot-6, but he has shown the ability to play power forward for stretches. And in the Sixers game, Brown saw action at power forward, as well, which he admitted afterwards has not been something he has spent a considerable amount of time working on in training camp. 
 
While it may not necessarily be his natural position, the 6-7 Brown said where he plays on the floor doesn’t matter. 
 
“I’m comfortable at the four (power forward), or wherever coach needs me to play,” Brown said. “It’s part of being versatile; part of versatility is being ready when somebody calls your name. You’re a rookie so you can’t really have any excuses and be like, ‘Nah, I don’t want to play the four (power forward).’ If he wants to play me at the four, I’m down.”
 
Rozier, selected by Boston with the 16th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, liked what he saw from Brown.  But as impressed as he was with the rookie’s play, Rozier is confident that Brown’s game will only get better with time. 
 
“Once the game really slows down for him, it’s going to be scary for a lot of people,” Rozier said.

Cavs will be without Kevin Love for Game 7

Cavs will be without Kevin Love for Game 7

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is in the NBA concussion protocol and will miss Game 7 Sunday night against the Celtics on Sunday night at TD Garden.

The winner Sunday night advances to the NBA Finals. 

Love, the Cavs' second-leading scorer behind LeBron James and their leading rebounder, collided with Celtics rookie forward Jayson Tatum and they bumped heads when the Cavs were on offense in the first quarter of Boston's 113-103 loss in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday night in Cleveland.

Love was down on the court for a few minutes, walked off the floor with help, but didn't return.

Tatum was shaken up, stayed in the game and said "I'm fine" afterward.

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No time to dwell on it, Game 7 awaits

No time to dwell on it, Game 7 awaits

CLEVELAND – The Celtics have been perfect at home in the playoffs and with a Game 7 win on Sunday, they would set an NBA record for consecutive home wins in the postseason with 11.

It would also improve their record to 38-0 in series in which they open with a pair of wins.

Still, as they went about making this improbable journey to where they are a win away from a trip to the NBA Finals, history has never been a motivating factor.

And with where they are now in the grand scheme of things, it becomes even less of a motivating factor.

“At the end of the day, you have to make your own history,” said Jaylen Brown. “We have to come out and do what we have to do. People can say what they want. Two teams have to come out and play.”

That stay-in-the-moment mindset has served them well all season and becomes even more important following a Game 6 loss Friday night, a game in which the Celtics did a lot of what they were intending to do in order to give themselves a shot at winning.

But the game ultimately came down to the C's going through one of its scoring lulls, getting behind by double digits and not making that one shot or getting that clutch defensive stop to swing the momentum in their favor.

There’s no time to dwell on that, not with a Game 7 matchup on the horizon.

“It’s over with now,” Brown said. “We can’t afford to think in the past, ‘oh we should have won.’ It’s over with. Game 7 at home in the Garden; great atmosphere, great environment, great stage. Come out and play some great basketball, high energy and let’s see who comes out on top.”

Here are five takeaways from Boston’s 109-99 Game 6 loss to the Cavs:

JAYSON TATUM


He had 15 points on 7-for-13 shooting which is a pretty good night for most players. But what really stood out was the fact that Tatum, arguably Boston’s best player at creating his own shot off the dribble, did not take a single free throw. The reason was two-fold: the ball didn’t find its way into his hands enough and when it did, opportunities to get to the rim and attack were few and far between.

MARCUS MORRIS


Marcus Morris has been tasked with being one of the primary defenders against LeBron James, knowing full well he – or any NBA player for that matter – can only hope to slow him down. Morris has not done as well of late in limiting James and to make matters worse, he has struggled to impact the game offensively. In Game 6, he was 3-for-10 shooting with a number of the misses being attempts at the rim or relatively open perimeter looks. Of all the Celtics, Morris will likely benefit the most when it comes to being at home.

CLEVELAND ROLE PLAYERS


LeBron James (46 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists) was dominant as ever, but it was the Cavaliers role players that really won this game for Cleveland. George Hill had 20 points. Jeff Green and Larry Nance Jr. came off the bench to score 14 and 10 points, respectively. Kyle Korver hit a couple 3’s and for the most part, did a solid job defensively. Limiting their impact will be among the chief goals for the Celtics heading into Sunday’s Game 7 matchup.

FREE-THROW SHOOTING


They’re called free throws but when you miss too many of them, there’s often a high cost to be paid. The Celtics found that out in Game 6. While the Cavs took two more free throws (22) than the Celtics (20), Boston wound up making seven fewer free throws courtesy of them shooting a woeful 55 percent (11-for-20) from the line while the Cavs were 18-for-22. Teams tend to shoot better from the line at home, a trend Boston certainly hopes will continue for at least one more game.

KEVIN LOVE


After a collision with Jayson Tatum in the first quarter, Love (concussion testing) was unable to return for Game 6, and at this point, he is questionable at best for Game 7. Jeff Green and Larry Nance Jr. picked up the minutes left by Love’s absence and if Love doesn’t play in Game 7 those two will likely gobble up most of those 30-plus minutes that would have gone to Love. That could lead to Boston making another lineup change with Marcus Morris back with the first unit in place of Aron Baynes to better match up with Cleveland.

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