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Celtics: Jaylen Brown out rest of season with wrist injury

Celtics wing Jaylen Brown

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 02: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics reacts as he looks to pass during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at TD Garden on May 02, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)

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Despite having two All-Stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics have been frustratingly inconsistent this season. But there was at least hope this team could be a sleeping giant if Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart and Evan Fournier got healthy at the right time.

That case gets much harder to make with Brown now out for the season with a wrist injury.


This is devastating for Brown and the Celtics. A first-time All-Star, the 24-year-old was really coming into his own as an essential player.

Boston will need even more from Tatum and Smart on the wing. Smart playing more shooting guard will solidify rookie Payton Pritchard’s backup point guard minutes, even as games get bigger. Likewise, Aaron Nesmith will probably stick in the rotation when he might not have otherwise.

Boston appears likely to finish seventh in the Eastern Conference, which would mean hosting a play-in game or two. Win either, and the seventh-place team advances to the playoffs. The play-in system is designed to significantly favor the seventh-place team over the eighth-place team (which also must win only one of, if necessary, two, but opens the tournament on the road but ), ninth-place team (which must win two, one at home then one on the road) and 10th-place team (which must win two road games).

The Celtics holding favored position but playing without one of their top players would add even more chaos to the NBA’s first play-in tournament.