For the third time in four years, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will be duking it out in the Eastern Conference Finals. While the two ball clubs may have stark differences when it comes to their on-court play, with the C’s being more finesse and the Heat providing more brute force, Jaylen Brown sees one particular similarity between the teams.
Asked by a reporter during a practice day media session if he looks to a guy like Jimmy Butler as being a talent he aspires to play like, the two-time All-Star noted that he sees similar qualities between him and guys like the Heat wing as well as Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard.
“Being a two-way player that plays both sides of the ball, impacts the game in different ways, kind of similar to those guys,” Jaylen Brown said.
Brown’s two-way abilities have been on full display throughout the playoffs, as he’s been arguably the best and most consistent overall player on the Celtics throughout their current run.
Through 13 games, the 26-year-old is posting impressive averages of 24.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.0 steals, and half a block while shooting 54.1% from the field and 47.1% from deep.
Jaylen Brown Understands This Heat Team is ‘Different’
Even with his belief that he and Jimmy Butler have similar types of games, Jaylen Brown told reporters that he understands this Miami Heat team the Celtics are gearing up to face is different than the iterations they’ve gone up against during past playoff runs.
“They got a different team in a sense that they got some injuries. Some guys are playing better than they were last year. It’s not the same team as last year. Jimmy is still Jimmy and [Erik Spoelstra] is still Spo so we gotta make sure that we’re aware of everybody else: Kevin Love, [Max] Strus, Duncan Robinson’s playing in this series. We just got to be alert,” Jaylen Brown said.
Brown would continue on by acknowledging that Miami has been one of the hottest teams during this year’s postseason, stating that “they beat a number one team, they beat a hungry New York Knicks team” and that it’s now up to Boston to “find a way to cool the Heat off.”
The Celtics and Heat squared off against one another on four separate occasions during the regular season, with each team claiming two wins apiece.
Jimmy Butler Predicts Heat Will Beat Celtics
The two teams may have split their regular season series and have each claimed a series win during their last two postseason bouts, but Jimmy Butler believes in his team’s chances of pulling ahead in their head-to-head record this year.
During a recent practice day media session, the perennial All-Star made the bold prediction that, come series end, it will be the Heat who will wind up beating the Boston Celtics and, in turn, representing the Eastern Conference in the 2023 NBA Finals.
“This year is our year. We’re going to go into this Game 1 and do what we’re supposed to do and be the first one to four. We are very capable of it. We have enough. Guys are playing some incredible basketball. I like our chances, as does everyone in this organization,” Jimmy Butler said.
Despite Butler’s confidence, it appears the oddsmakers are not of the same mindset as they currently have the Celtics listed as favorites to not only win this year’s Eastern Conference Finals series but to take home the 2023 Larry O’Brien Trophy.