PHILADELPHIA – Jaylen Brown’s availability for Game 2 wasn’t determined until shortly before tip-off. And it looks like it’ll be more of the same on in Game 3’s matchup on Saturday.
Brown, who said his hamstring was “a little tight; a little sore” following Boston’s practice on Friday, said he intends on playing in Game 3.
The biggest concern at this point is Brown returning to action and re-injuring it which could possibly sideline him even longer.
“They said that it’s one of those things; it’s gonna be uncomfortable,” Brown said. “They’re trusting me what I’m saying. I’m trusting what they are saying. It’s one of those things. You can’t really prepare for playing playoff-level intensity, you can’t simulate that.”
Brown getting back on the floor will involve a comprehensive strategy similar to what they did in Boston’s Game 2 win over the Sixers.
Coming off the bench for the first time this season, Brown had 13 points on 5-for-12 shooting in Game 2 with four rebounds and an assist while playing just under 25 minutes.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has left the decision-making on whether Brown plays or not, to the player and the team’s medical staff.
“I just listen to what the doctors and trainers say,” Stevens told reporters following the team practice. “They felt good about him playing. They said there’s going to be some general soreness from playing. One of the things about it, there’ no tear. That’s a big part of this. We have to be really smart about it.”
And that involves Brown continuing to be open about how he’s feeling.
“When he passes all the tests and is cleared by the Docs, then we feel good about him playing,” Stevens said. “If it ever looks like he doesn’t or he says in the middle of a game, ‘that kind of hurt,’ he’s out.”
Brown said one of the bigger challenges he faces now is having a quick initial step off the dribble.
“The first step explosiveness is not all the way there,” Brown said. “But it’s something that I can still play basketball, but I definitely want to be myself when I play. All I want to do is help; just trying to get myself prepared mentally and physically, to continue to win games and trust what the medical staff is telling me. I just want to help as much as I can.”
Brown has stepped up his scoring game offensively, averaging 17.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.38 assists per game.