Celtics

Celtics

BOSTON --  For most young NBA players, establishing themselves as one of the better players in the league is a top priority. 

Jaylen Brown holds those same aspirations. 

But as he pointed out following Boston’s 116-95 win over Philadelphia, he has his sights set on bigger, greater, grander accomplishments than being an All-Star. 

“It is what it is,” Brown said of being passed over as an All-Star this season. “No reason to cry over spilled milk. Getting ready to head into the playoffs, that’s what my mind is on right now.”

Brown added, “That’s the stage that you want to be on. I think some people have it backwards. But I’m just going to continue to get better.”

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Having been to the postseason in each of his previous three NBA seasons, Brown understands all too well the road to postseason success doesn’t begin when the regular season ends. 

No, it begins months before that by building good playoff habits in the regular season, preferably the second half when those same habits are much easier to replicate. 

Since Game No. 42, the official start of the second half of the season, Brown has appeared in five games. 

In those games, Brown has averaged 23.0 points while shooting 52.4 percent from the field along with grabbing 5.0 rebounds and dishing out 3.0 assists per game. 

“He’s been really good,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “I said the other day, you know, we’ve talked all along, it’s more important to be playing like an all-star than to be named one. And nobody exemplifies that better.”

During the All-Star break, Brown said he will take some time to vacation and rest his body for what he anticipates will be a long postseason run. 

And while he would have certainly enjoyed being selected to his first All-Star team, Brown has his sights set on being at his best for the time of year that really matters - the playoffs. 

“Just trying to get better out there,” Brown said. “I’ve been working on my game since I came into the league. It’s just, continuing to put the time in, make sacrifices, whatever it takes, I’m going to continue to get better. That’s it, man.”

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Hawks, which begins Monday at 6:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.