Jaylen Brown’s kicked off the season on a high note, scoring a career-high 46 points against the New York Knicks on opening night. However, he’s since fallen flat more times than not.
The reigning All-Star followed up his career night at Madison Square Garden with a nine-point outing against the Raptors. He proceeded to miss the following game against the Rockets with left patella tendinopathy. Brown did return to the lineup the next night vs. the Hornets to pour in 30 points. Unfortunately, his yo-yo campaign took another dip in Wednesday’s loss to the Washington Wizards.
“It’s a tough one; I see it as well,” head coach Ime Udoka said of Brown’s inconsistent play following Boston’s third loss of the season via Mass Live. “I’m trying to ramp him up during the game, pump him up to get going. But the contrast of some of those previous games — especially Charlotte and the New York game and the way you see him come out (Wednesday) — is kind of mind-boggling.”
Brown finished with 13 points against Washington, marking the second time over his last three games that he’s scored below 15 points. Over those two games, he’s shot just 27.2% from the field. Through the first three quarters on Wednesday, Brown racked up a mere three points on 1-of-10 shooting from the field.
Udoka on Brown’s Struggles: ‘It Can Be a Number of Things’
It can be frustrating to watch one of your core pieces put forth uneven play, especially when your team has struggled as a whole out the gates. However, it’s only five games into the season, meaning there’s no reason to panic.
Brown was recently in quarantine for 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19. He is also seeing his first real game action since last May, after a torn scapholunate ligament in his left wrist cut his 2020-21 campaign short. If anything, the most alarming aspect of Brown’s murky start to the season is his knee flair up — something he dealt with dating back to last year.
“It can be a number of things,” Udoka said of his star wing. “He was out for 10 days… and was banged up with the knee, but just got to find the juice from the start. It’s something that I can help him with, put him in some positions to get going but when I see that, have to jump on it early and help him get going.”
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Udoka Vows to Help Brown Get Easier Looks
Currently sitting in 12th-place in the Eastern Conference, Udoka knows that the Celtics will need Brown to play up to his potential. He also knows that the staff can do a better job of putting him in a better position to succeed.
“A lot of different ways to do it, but just when you see it from the get-go, really grab him and talk to him and tell him, ‘You got to carry the load tonight, especially when Jayson (Tatum) is out,'” Udoka said. “Calling him sets, giving him certain plays and getting him in a comfort zone. Maybe some free throws will help because he obviously started out slow tonight.”