BOSTON -- Jaylen Brown is a highlight reel waiting to happen every time he steps on the court.
But the rookie forward is learning the best way to get on the floor for the Boston Celtics -- and stay there -- is to defend and do so consistently.
Brown’s improved defense has been at the heart of why he has registered double-digit minutes each of the last three games, which includes Tuesday’s 115-104 win over Utah.
Prior to that, Brown saw his playing time dip to four minutes against Memphis on Dec. 27, and six minutes against the New York Knicks on Christmas Day.
Even with the drop in playing time, Brown stuck to his routine of getting to court early, on off days and staying late when possible.
Prior to Tuesday’s game, Brown was working with assistant coach Micah Shrewsberry on shooting corner 3s, a shot that he would make hours later against the Jazz.
Brown had a nice game offensively, scoring 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting to go with three rebounds and a memorable block which triggered a Celtics fast break that ended with him scoring at the rim.
Following the block of Raul Neto, there was a bit of glare-down by Brown.
“A little bit,” Brown told reporters after the game. “I was mad I missed the shot before so I took it out on him.”
And while that was Brown’s only block, by no means was it the only play he made defensively.
The Celtics only used nine players on Tuesday, with Brown playing the fewest minutes.
Despite his limited court time, only Amir Johnson (12) and Kelly Olynyk (11) contested more shots than Brown (7). In addition, the opponent turnover ratio for players Brown defended was 14.5 which was the second-best mark on the team.
And while Brown only had three rebounds, he did a good defensively in not allowing whoever he defended on the Jazz to have their way around the basket in terms of rebounding which is evident by his opponent offensive rebounding percentage (.111) trailing only Jonas Jerebko (.100) among the top percentages for the Celtics.
Regardless of whether it’s his scoring or defense that gets him on the floor, Brown’s mindset remains locked into doing whatever he can to be an impact performer in whatever minutes he’s given to work with.
“I’m as confident as ever,” Brown said. “My confidence hasn’t wavered. You make mistakes. That’s part of the game. But I try not to hesitate on the floor. I’m just going to play my game.”