Brown talking his way back into lineup pays off big time

Brown talking his way back into lineup pays off big time

BOSTON – All of the tests on Jaylen Brown’s right hamstring injury came back negative, which if you’re lobbying as hard as Brown was to get on the floor, was a huge positive.

Eventually Brown convinced coach Brad Stevens and the Celtics medical staff that he could, in fact, step back on the floor Thursday night and do so without re-aggravating his hamstring injury.

“I just told them, ‘I was ready to play,’ looked them in their eyes,” Brown said. “They were unsure; it was back and forth.”

Brown’s lobbying efforts worked, and the Celtics needed all the second-year wing player had to offer in escaping with a 108-103 Game 2 win over Philadelphia after trailing the Sixers by 22 points – their largest comeback win in the playoffs in nearly a decade (2008 NBA Finals, Game 4 when they trailed by 24 points).

Brown, who came off the Celtics’ bench for the first time this season, had 13 points and four rebounds in a little less than 25 minutes of action.

From the time Brown suffered the injury in the second quarter of the Game 7 win over Milwaukee, Stevens had consistently said Brown was doubtful for Game 2 although Brown told NBC Sports Boston after Game 1 that he would, in fact, be back for Game 2.

And as players began warming up for the game, there was Brown, going through his usual pregame routine of stretching and shooting on the floor.

“The MRI, or whatever scan he had, showed that there was no, like tear,” Stevens said. “There was no structural damage. It was a strain. It was probably below Grade One but they were – obviously we were going to be very cautious in bringing him back. So they felt good about him playing but it felt like if he went [beyond] 25 [minutes] that would’ve been a little bit more risky.”

Brown figured at some point he would have to test the hamstring to see how it would hold up to a play involving Brown making a series of athletic moves.

In the first quarter, shortly after he entered the game, Philadelphia’s Dario Saric had a ball slip into the backcourt.

Rather than touch it which would have made it Boston’s ball on an over-and-back violation, Saric let roll before a hustling Brown came up with the loose ball, scooped it up for a dunk that was the first of many signs of life for the Celtics in their comeback effort.

“I did everything to kind of, aggravate it,” Brown said. “I bent down, stopped, accelerate, picked up the ball and exploded up court.”

And while Brown acknowledged the hamstring was a little sore afterwards, he doesn’t foresee it keeping him out of any more playoff games.

As much as Brown's return was about him wanting to contribute, it also speaks to the level of trust he has established with the Celtics’ medical staff.

“It was my call,” Brown said. “The doctors didn’t want me to play; I told them I would be fine. The risk was all on me.”

And it paid off big-time for Brown and the Celtics, who are now off to Philly with a 2-0 series lead that they’re looking to expand.

“We took care of business at home and that is the most important thing,” said Boston’s Terry Rozier. “Now we are looking to steal one on the road.”


Danny Ainge has got the jokes...aimed at Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown

Danny Ainge has got the jokes...aimed at Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown

Danny Ainge was busy on Twitter late last night poking a little fun at a couple of his players.

Ainge, the Celtics president of basketball operations, wondered where the defense was in a video of "Scary" Terry Rozier playing in a pickup game with Wizards guard John Wall and other NBAers. 

A little good-natured payback for Rozier's FaceTime interruption of Ainge's drafting of Robert Williams back in June?

A few minutes before his Rozier tweet, Ainge saw a video tweeted by Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton of Jaylen Brown showing his skills on the piano at the Berkeley campus' Sproul Plaza. Brown spent a year at Cal before being drafted by Boston in 2016.

Ainge couldn't resist a jab at Brown's ball-handling skills. 

So, Celtics players, post those Twitter videos at your own risk because the boss is watching.



Anything is Podable Episode Two: New owner, new era

Anything is Podable Episode Two: New owner, new era

It’s not very often that a marquee franchise like the Boston Celtics is sold, but in 2002, control of the green and white changed hands.

Episode Two of NBC Sports Boston’s “Anything is Podable” looks at the first several years of the Wyc Grousbeck era and how the new ownership group began to lay the building blocks of the next great Celtics team.

“Mortgaged the house to put down the deposit and started to figure out whom I could call to raise all this money,” said Grousbeck in an exclusive interview for the podcast series. “But as of that moment, I knew I was going to be the controlling owner of the Boston Celtics, or I was going to die trying. I mean, that was going to happen.”

While the Celtics’ transformation from pretender to contender took several years, Grousbeck and his team were committed to giving fans the team’s seventeenth championship.

“When you come into the Celtics, you can’t come into it for money, and we never did” added Grousbeck. “I named the company ‘Banner 17’ because I wanted to win the 17th banner and hopefully more.”

The podcast continues on to address the coaching transition from Jim O’Brien to Doc Rivers, as well as Danny Ainge’s first few seasons as General Manager and President of Basketball Operations.

“I’m not exaggerating if I say 10-15 different coaches and ex-coaches told me not to take the Boston job,” said Rivers. “Too much pressure, they’re going to be bad for a long time, not sure if you and Danny will work well together. I mean, I just got a lot of calls.”

“As excited as I was for Doc, you know, Wyc and Pags, they wanted to sign him before we left the house,” joked Ainge. “They were so excited. They were enamored with Doc.”

With Ainge and Rivers now in charge of all things on the court, Grousbeck and his team were on their way to fulfilling their goal.

Anything is Podable is a ten-part series diving into the story of the 2008 Celtics and their championship season, with exclusive, never-before-heard interviews with team executives, former players, and media members.

Narrated by Kyle Draper, it’s the perfect way for Celtics fans to pass time this offseason and get excited for 2018-19, a season in which the Celtics have as good a chance at raising their 18th championship banner as they’ve had since that magical 2008 season.

Fans can subscribe to the podcast through the link below and check out the other nine episodes for a look at this exclusive series.