Romeo Langford may have been the hero in the Boston Celtics‘ comeback victory over the Orlando Magic in their preseason opener. However, it was Jaylen Brown who was the star of the night. In his first game action since injuring his left wrist on May 2nd of last season, the 2021 All-Star selection took to the hardwood, and boy did he deliver.
With all eyes on the Cal product, Brown went out and put his ever-blossoming game on full display for the TD Garden fans. He attacked the rim, beat defenders off the dribble and splashed four triples en route to a team-high 25-point performance in 26 minutes — all at just 80-85% health on Brown’s own accord.
While the 24-year-old looked to be in mid-season form, Brown did admit that his surgically repaired wrist was bothersome at times throughout the night.
“[The wrist] held up pretty good,” he said, via the Boston Globe. “At times it bothered me a little bit, but I’m going in the right direction. Today was a good test.”
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Brown Talks Return to the Court
Brown came out the gates hot, scoring 14 of Boston’s first 17 points on the night. He finished the first quarter with 16 points on 60% shooting and 43% from beyond the arc all in just eight minutes of play (h/t Hoop Central).
It was undoubtedly an encouraging sign for both he and the Celtics, who despite endless trade rumors, appear set to move forward with Brown and Jayson Tatum as their franchise cornerstones for the foreseeable future. However, while Boston and their young core may have title aspirations, Brown is still content with taking a second to soak up the moment.
“It was fun,” he proclaimed. “I haven’t been on the court in a while. Just getting out there in front of the home court was really great. The playoffs were really hard for me to watch but I’m back, I feel great and I’m ready to play some good basketball.”
Celtics Edge Out ‘Ugly Win’
While Brown put on a brilliant performance, the same could not be said about the Celtics team as a whole. Despite inching past Orlando, the team struggled to knock down shots in what was coach Udoka’s first game at the helm for the Cs.
“Obviously, a pretty ugly win overall,” Udoka said in his postgame presser. “On the offensive end you shoot 35%, I don’t know how many wins you’re gonna get, but we made them late when they counted. Defensively I thought we were solid, had some slippage in areas.”
One of the more ugly performances came from Boston’s reworked backcourt. The newly acquired tandem of Dennis Schroder and Josh Richardson joined the newly extended Marcus Smart to combine for just 4-for-21 from the field and six total assists.
The Celtics and their trio of guards will look to elevate their play come this Saturday (October 9th) when they welcome the Toronto Raptors into TD Garden for the next preseason bout.