How Celtics star Jaylen Brown’s biggest weakness was exploited by Heat, Caleb Martin

With the season on the line in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics played about as poorly as possible. The Celtics could barely make a 3-pointer, their defense was lacking, and they were turning the ball over constantly.

Jaylen Brown had the most turnover issues for the Celtics, as he produced eight of them in 43 minutes of play. Coupled with a bad shooting night, those mistakes likely cost Boston the game against the Miami Heat and ultimately, their chances at the NBA Finals.

Conference Finals hero Caleb Martin helped the Heat throughout the series with some hot shooting. Following Miami’s victory he revealed his team’s key to success. Martin claimed that the Heat were focused on forcing Brown to his left hand as much as they could, via the Dan Le Batard Show.

“That’s always the game plan,” Martin said.

Although it seems so simple, shifting Brown to his non-dominant hand seemed to work. Plus, since the Celtics’ other All-Star in Jayson Tatum sprained his ankle early in Game 7, Miami had plenty of opportunities to harass Brown once he became the focal point of the offense.

Overcoming an outing in which you’re shooting 21% from deep is hard, but adding 15 total turnovers to that equation makes it nearly impossible. Brown wasn’t expecting to have to will the C’s to victory in Game 7, and unfortunately, he didn’t look fit for the job.

As a result, the two-time All-Star’s future in Boston isn’t super clear. The Celtics will have to set a lot of money aside for Brown and Tatum, and that could really restrict the team’s financials. Yet, that duo has led the Green Team to an NBA Finals, so the front office might not be eager to blow it up. Regardless of what happens, the C’s have a tricky offseason ahead of them while the Heat have a shot at their fourth NBA title.

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‘Without a doubt’: Jaylen Brown’s Celtics future addressed by Brad Stevens

Following a disappointing finish in the playoffs, the future of the Boston Celtics is a bit cloudy. However, Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens seems keen on keeping most of the team together, and that includes star Jaylen Brown.

Brown had a disastrous Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat, as his eight turnovers sank the offense. The two-time All-Star will be a free agent next season and is already eligible for a massive extension, yet his recent troubles created some doubt about whether or not he’ll stay in Boston.

In spite of his postseason struggles, Stevens made it clear that he’d like to bring back Brown if possible. Obviously, he couldn’t share the details of the extension talks, but he did seem to hint at them trying to do whatever they can to keep Brown.

When asked about Brown’s future during a Thursday presser, Stevens didn’t shy away from expressing his trust in him, via Jay King of The Atheltic.

“Without a doubt we want Jaylen to be here,” Stevens said. “He’s a big part of us and I believe in him and I’m thankful for him.”

Finding a way for Brown to stay is easier said than done since Brown is eligible for nearly $295 million starting next year. Fellow Celtics star Jayson Tatum could have a big payday in his future as well, so figuring out how to pay both guys without significantly impacting the team’s financials will be nearly impossible:

Money aside, Stevens doesn’t sound ready to give up on his squad’s franchise players. His history with them goes back a long way and they nearly led the Celtics to the NBA Finals for the second year in a row.

The dynamic duo came up short, but nothing Stevens said makes it sound like he wants to blow it up.

No matter what though, Stevens and the front office have a lot of significant decisions ahead of them this offseason.

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The demand Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown made to Joe Mazzulla late in regular season

Boston Celtics star wings Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown may not be the team’s vocal leaders — that title belongs to Marcus Smart and Al Horford — but they are the Celtics’ two best players, and thus, their words carry weight in the locker room.

Tatum and Brown used their influence to demand a rotation shake-up from head coach Joe Mazzulla late in the regular season — specifically, they wanted forward Grant Williams back in the rotation, per a recent article from The Athletic’s Jay King and Jared Weiss:

“The coaching staff believed in Hauser’s offensive production and felt that because opponents were going out of their way to target him and abandon their own offense, his ability to hold up decently in isolation made him impactful. Mazzulla also wanted to get Hauser more experience to prepare him for the playoffs, believing Williams would be ready to go if his number was called. But the team’s veterans believed Williams would be crucial in the playoffs, so Tatum and Brown met with Mazzulla in early March to implore him to put Williams back into the rotation, team sources told The Athletic.”

Grant Williams, 24, has played four years in the NBA, all as a member of the storied Boston Celtics franchise. He averaged 8.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.4 blocks, 1.0 turnovers, and 2.4 personal fouls per game across 79 appearances this season (23 starts).

The former Tennessee star shot the ball with great accuracy from behind the three-point arc in the 2022-23 campaign — Williams’ 39.5% three-point percentage was the second-highest of his pro career.

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3 early Celtics’ trade targets in 2023 NBA offseason

The Boston Celtics crashed out of the 2023 NBA playoffs in heartbreaking fashion, coming back from 3-0 down to the Miami Heat to force a Game 7 at home and then getting crushed in Boston in that final game. Now, the team must seriously consider making some changes to the team during the Celtics’ offseason, whether they are major or minor. Here are three Celtics trade targets that could improve the team, including two Jaylen Brown trades with the same Western Conference franchise.

Draymond Green from the Warriors

The first Celtics trade idea involves keeping both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as the core of their team in the 2023 NBA offseason. If this happens, Boston will owe the duo around $600 million over the next six years. Still, in the NBA, it’s hard to find two young stars like this.

If the team is going to keep the Brown and Tatum attack intact, they need to get a strong, experienced leader in the building who can hold them accountable and help them win series like the one they just lost to the Heat.

If that player can defend multiple positions and be a facilitator on offense as well, all the better.

Where can they find all that wrapped up in one? By making Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green a Celtics’ trade target.

Green, like the rest of the Warriors stars, is getting up there in age, and the team needs to get younger and more athletic. Golden State can also benefit from a chemistry perspective, as Green punching teammate Jordan Poole in the face this preseason seemed to doom the team from the beginning.

In Boston, Green’s antics will be fresh, and Brown and Tatum can probably use some tough love from a teammate. One thing that is for sure is that they won’t be able to put up lackluster and half-hearted performances as they did in the playoffs this season with Draymond on the squad.

Damian Lillard from the Trail Blazers

After his second-team All-NBA performance in 2022-23, Jaylen Brown is now in line for a $295 million contract extension. Brown is an excellent player, but he does have his deficiencies. He can be too passive at times and he’s not the best ball-handler.

Brown also isn’t a perfect fit next to Tatum, the best player on the team.

If a Celtics trade could improve on the areas that Brown struggles in and even push Tatum down a peg to become the second-best player on the team, that would be great for Boston. One Celtics’ trade target who could do this is the Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard.

Lillard will be 33 in July, but he is still an excellent player and would be even better next to a young star like Tatum. He is also a big-game player who has won playoff games by himself like the Celtics needed Brown to do in Game 7 vs. the Heat.

In this Jaylen Brown trade, the Celtics get a veteran star who could help Tatum take the next step, and the Blazers get a budding young star who will be a much better fit with whichever top prospect they take with the No. 3 overall selection in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Speaking of that No. 3 pick…

Scoot Henderson (via the No. 3 pick) from the Blazers

Instead of trying to push its way over the hump and win a championship next season (like with Damian Lillard or Draymond Green), Boston could also reset the clock on their championship window by trading for the No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

With the way the draft lottery fell, it now seems pretty set in stone that French sensation Victor Wembanyama will go No. 1 to the San Antonio Spurs, and Alabama freshman forward Brandon Miller will go No. 2 to the Charlotte Hornets.

That leaves the consensus No. 2 prospect, G League Ignite’s Scoot Henderson falling to the No. 3 pick, which the Blazers currently own.

A Jaylen Brown trade for the pick that nets Henderson won’t win the Celtics an NBA title in the next year or maybe even two. However, the young point guard has the skills and mentality o someday be a championship-winning player.

With this Celtics trade, the Blazers get help now for Lillard, and Boston gets a better fit for Jayson Tatum, who is still just 25. Plus, the team won’t have to shell out $295 million from Brown, which will allow them to put more skilled role players around their new core of Tatum and Henderson.

This is a win-win for both teams, and the best deal the Celtics can make this offseason for the long-term health of the franchise.

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Mad Dog reveals controversial list of players better than Celtics’ Jaylen Brown

Boston Celtics‘ star Jaylen Brown had a less than ideal postseason in a season that ended in failure for his squad. When discussing the future of the Celtics on First Take, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo sparked outrage in Stephen A Smith and JJ Redick as he gave his list of players better than Brown.

“Durant, Embiid, Curry, Tatum, Giannis, Booker, Leonard, Jokic, Doncic, Booker, Butler, the OKC kid [Shai-Gilgeous Alexander], Murray, Donovan Mitchell, Kawhi, George…Morant, LeBron, AD, Anthony Edwards, and one of my all-time favorites, Kyrie.”

After Mad Dog finished his list, both Stephen A Smith and JJ Redick took their turns ripping into him. Smith was adamant that the list was so insane it could not have been genuine, although he was a little more relaxed with his tone. Redick on the other hand seemed to take offense.

JJ Redick ridiculed Mad Dog for putting guys like Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Kyrie Irving on the list because of previous arguments made by Russo. Redick stresses that Jaylen Brown is available, and that Mad Dog has criticized the three aforementioned before for not playing; to put them above Brown after criticizing them before for not showing up for their teams is not a fair take, according to Redick.

It is quite the lengthy list, so it is no surprise that it spurred some controversy. Jaylen Brown is a very good player, and to think all of these players who have had much less recent success than Brown are better than him is not the strongest of takes. Still, there is a good chance that Mad Dog was just doing what he usually does for clicks.

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Danilo Gallinari sends offseason message that will fire Celtics fans up

The 2022-23 season is over for the Boston Celtics, but it never really started for Danilo Gallinari.

The veteran forward signed with the Celtics last summer on a two-year deal, yet before the regular season even began he suffered a brutal injury. While representing Italy in a September FIBA World Cup qualifier, Gallinari tore an ACL and was essentially ruled out for the rest of the year.

Since sustaining the season-ending blow, Gallinari has been rehabbing and hinting at an eventual return. The 34-year-old is no longer in his prime, however, he still believes he has more basketball left in him. On Twitter, Gallinari posted a lengthy message that all but confirms that he’ll be back next season for the C’s:

Gallinari’s announcement follows Boston’s disappointing Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics were just one game short of completing a historic comeback, but they looked flat in their final outing and could barely make a 3-pointer.

Ideally, Gallinari will be able to help with that next season. The Italian sharpshooter has averaged a solid 38.2% conversion rate from deep over the course of his lengthy career, and he shot an impressive 40.6% from 3-point land just two seasons ago.

Although an ACL injury is tough to recover from (especially since he’s torn the same one twice), Gallinari showed no signs of retiring with his recent comments:

“From tomorrow the head and legs will work to prepare for next season,” he said on Twitter. “Season number 16 in a league that always knows how to give me emotions that I will never get used to.”

As Gallinari spends the offseason preparing for his return, the front office will ponder major organizational decisions. The C’s will likely receive calls about the availability of star guard Jaylen Brown and players like Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard are on expiring contracts.

It’ll be a long summer for the Green Team, but hopefully Gallinari will be ready to make his Celtics debut by the time it’s over.

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Celtics star Jaylen Brown’s handles ripped apart by NBA Twitter ahead of $295 million decision

To say that Jaylen Brown had a forgettable performance in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday against the Miami Heat night would be a major understatement. With Boston Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum going down with an injury very early in the game, Brown had an opportunity to step up for his team on the biggest occasion. Well, he decided to do the exact opposite.

Unsurprisingly, NBA Twitter brought out the pitchforks on Brown as they pinned the blame on him for Monday’s season-ending loss. With the two-time All-Star now eligible for a $295 million max extension this summer, the keyboard warriors were quick to point out that Brown doesn’t deserve this much money. The fans singled out Brown’s dribbling abilities, or rather, the lack thereof, as one of the biggest holes in his game:

Needless to say, the fans weren’t very happy about what they saw from Jaylen Brown on Monday night, and they weren’t shy about letting their true feelings about it known. It’s not just the fans either. Experts and pundits alike have jumped on the Jaylen Brown hate train as well as they criticized his performance in the playoffs for the Celtics. So much so, that there have been calls for Boston to rid themselves of Brown by trading him away this offseason.

Has Jaylen Brown played his last game for the Celtics? More than a few folks out there seem to believe that this is the case. We shall all find out in the coming months.

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4 Celtics most to blame for embarrassing Game 7 home loss to Heat in Eastern Conference Finals

The Boston Celtics had a chance to make history. They had a chance to become the first team to come back from a 3-0 deficit in the NBA Playoffs. But they fell short, losing to the Miami Heat in Game 7, 103-84. There were several reasons for the Celtics’ loss. But four people, in particular, stand out as being most to blame.

In a tumultuous turn of events, the Celtics initially showed great promise as they took an early five-point lead. However, their momentum was swiftly thwarted by an overwhelming 14-4 run by their opponents, marking the end of the first quarter. To exacerbate matters, they struggled to regain their footing in the second quarter. They even allowed the Heat to secure 16 of the first 22 points. As the third quarter drew to a close, Miami boasted a commanding 76-66 lead. The Celtics’ hopes of mounting a comeback were further dashed when star player Jayson Tatum missed a crucial layup to open the fourth quarter, followed by consecutive turnovers from Jaylen Brown. To add salt to the wound, Miami’s Caleb Martin capitalized on the opportunity. He sank a huge three-pointer, while Jimmy Butler delivered a pair of baskets. Those extended Miami’s lead to 83-66.

From that point onwards, the Celtics were unable to narrow the gap. This left the TD Garden crowd stunned and frustrated. Not surprisingly, some boos could be heard as the fans trickled out of the arena, their spirits deflated.

Here we will look at the four Celtics most to blame for their embarrassing Game 7 home loss.

Jayson Tatum

Known for his incredible scoring ability, Tatum had an unexpected off night in Game 7. Despite being the Celtics’ standout performer throughout the playoffs, Tatum struggled to find his rhythm against a relentless Miami defense. His shooting woes were evident as he could only muster 14 points, a far cry from his usual scoring output. Tatum’s shooting accuracy was abysmal, making only 5 of his 13 attempts from the field, leaving the Celtics desperate for points. To compound his struggles, Tatum recorded a plus-minus of -12 for the night. As the Celtics’ leading scorer and go-to player, Tatum’s inability to get going played a significant role in the team’s downfall and his off night will be remembered as a missed opportunity for the Celtics.

Jaylen Brown

Brown is an important contributor to the Celtics. However, he also faltered in the critical Game 7. Throughout the series, Brown’s offense had been oscillating from good to terrible. Still, he was a key offensive weapon for his team. However, in this decisive game, his shooting efficiency plummeted. He struggled to convert on just 8 of his 23 attempts from the field. Brown’s inability to find his groove severely impacted the Celtics’ offensive flow and left them searching for alternative sources of scoring. Additionally, Brown’s ball security was a major concern as he committed eight turnovers. These gave the opposing team too many extra possessions and squandered opportunities for the Celtics to mount a comeback. Given his inconsistent performance throughout the series, Brown’s struggles left a significant void that the Celtics desperately needed to fill. Ultimately, this contributed to their defeat.

Marcus Smart

Smart, known for his tenacious defense and ability to make hustle plays, played a crucial role in the Celtics’ stirring victory in Game 6. His relentless energy and defensive intensity disrupted the Heat’s offensive flow and contributed to the Celtics’ defensive success. However, in Game 7, Smart encountered difficulties finding his rhythm on the offensive end. Recall that he had averaged 18.3 points over their last three wins. Despite that kind of momentum, he struggled to convert his shot attempts in Game 7. He shot just 4-of-10 from the field, including 1-of-6 from beyond the arc. Additionally, Smart could not contain either Caleb Martin or Jimmy Butler. Both combined for 56 points. The team needed Smart to be more efficient and play stingier defense. That just did not happen in Game 7.

Joe Mazzulla

In the aftermath of the Celtics’ defeat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, Mazzulla’s words pierced the air, capturing the essence of disappointment in just 10 profound syllables.

“I just didn’t have them ready to play.”

Mazzulla’s coaching style had been a study in contrasts throughout the season. Embracing speed and precision, Mazzulla favored smaller lineups and unleashed a barrage of three-pointers. This catapulted the Celtics to the second spot in the league in that category. Defensive prowess was also recognized, with White earning a place on the NBA All-Defensive Team. Brogdon also received the Sixth Man of the Year accolade.

The regular season painted a rosy picture for Boston, boasting the best net rating while securing second place in offensive and defensive rating. However, the playoffs revealed their vulnerability. Defensive struggles plagued them, as they plummeted to 10th in efficiency among playoff teams. Their home record suffered too, with 11 losses in two years.

Late-game execution haunted them, though Game 7 offered no opportunity for redemption, as the Heat swiftly extinguished any hope. Boston’s aspirations shattered, leaving them to confront the bitter taste of an untimely demise.

In this crucial series against their opponents, the Celtics heavily relied on the contributions of four key individuals. However, despite their consistent performance throughout the series, they all encountered significant struggles when it mattered most in Game 7. These unexpected difficulties on the part of these players ultimately played a pivotal role in the Celtics’ unfortunate loss.

It is important to emphasize that the Celtics’ defeat was a collective team effort. It would be unfair to assign blame solely to one player. Nevertheless, the aforementioned players had ample opportunities to make a significant impact during Game 7 but were unable to seize them.

Moving forward, the Celtics must critically analyze this defeat and extract valuable lessons from it. With their immensely talented roster, they possess the potential to become strong championship contenders for many years to come. However, to fully unlock their potential, they must decipher the key to triumphing in high-stakes games.

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Al Horford addresses Celtics’ locker room controversy after Heat loss

The Boston Celtics offseason kicked off with much controversy after the loss to the Miami Heat. Right off the jump, Celtics faithful had questions about Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown’s futures with the team. They also called for Joe Mazzulla to depart after his rookie head coaching campaign. However, veteran leader Al Horford dispelled their locker room rumors.

“We had a lot going on this year and our guys should hold our heads high because we had a lot of adversity. In that locker room, we dealt with a lot of things,” the Celtics big man said as he looked back on their season, per Josue Pavón of CLNS media.

Horford has been a steadying presence throughout Boston’s highs and lows this postseason. The Celtics had their backs against the wall multiple times in the playoffs. They faced elimination twice against the Philadelphia 76ers and delayed their playoff death thrice against the Jimmy Butler-led Heat before finally succumbing in Game 7.

“We went through ups and downs but we stuck with it. So, right now, we want solutions sometimes you gonna have to step back and look at it and that’s just not going to happen right now,” Al Horford said hinting at a complete evaluation of the Celtics’ performance for the offseason.

A lot of questions are set to be answered in the coming months as the Celtics fix these problems. One thing is certain and that is the Celtics’ hope for Banner 18 remains unwavering despite the early playoffs exit.

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‘End this right now’: Kendrick Perkins wants Celtics star Jaylen Brown out of Boston ASAP

Some fans have been trying to revoke Kendrick Perkins’ Boston Celtics card amid all the criticism the one-time NBA champ has thrown in the direction of his former team. According to Big Perk, he’s just being honest and he’s merely providing his unbiased opinion on the Celtics — something that he has come out with again after seeing Boston get dominated by the Miami Heat at home in a do-or-die Game 7 matchup on Monday night.

At this point, Perkins believes that Jaylen Brown has to go. This isn’t the first time Big Perk has come out with this statement, and Brown’s no-show in Game 7 only served as more proof for Perkins on how the Celtics have to trade Brown away this summer:

“It’s time to break Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum up,” Perkins said. “Jaylen Brown was horrible tonight — eight turnovers, 8-for-23 from the field. Jayson Tatum (is) hurt; this is the time he’s supposed to step up.

“I just don’t know, if you’re the front office of the Celtics, how much longer you’re going to be patient with this duo. It’s gonna be guys out there that are going to be somewhat on the market, like a Trae Young and a Damian Lillard. And I think the front office, Brad Stevens and Wyc Grousbeck, is gonna have to take a hard look at whether or not they want to bring Jaylen Brown back and pair him up with Jayson Tatum, which I think they shouldn’t. I think they should go out there and try to get a Damian Lillard, and if they fall short of getting him, then go get a Trae Young. But I think it’s time to end this relationship right now.”

Perkins even provided the Celtics with a couple of options in Damian Lillard and Trae Young, which are undeniably exciting prospects for Boston — especially given their current situation. Whatever the case might be, what Big Perk is adamant about is the fact that Jaylen Brown needs to go. Now.

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