It gushed out from the nose of Celtics wing Jaylen Brown before the officials called a timeout. Afterward, the referees determined the play was a common foul and not a flagrant before Brown played portions of the fourth quarter with one of the nostrils blocked to stop the bleeding as Boston pulled to within four points but failed to erase its double-digit deficit.
Jaylen Brown: ‘I Might As Well Brought A Mop To Mop The Floor’
Brown’s frustration that steamed from the play, and, the Celtics’ loss, overall, carried from the court and into his postgame press conference.
“I don’t know how many times I hit the floor today, but I felt like I might as well have brought a mop to mop the floor, man,” Brown said after Friday’s loss. “Detroit was a physical team but I think at this point it’s just getting ridiculous. I don’t really understand that. I don’t want to comment too much on it cause I’m not getting fined but I thought I got hit in the face, a lot. Pretty hard, too.”
While Brown’s hoping his attempt of delivering a polite, yet strong, mild assessment of the officiating at TD Garden, doesn’t affect his pockets, we’ve seen NBA players fined for saying less. There’s a good chance Jaylen’s got a fine coming his way.
Still, it is good to see Jaylen express himself in this manner. For years, earning frequent trips to the free-throw line has been a facet of Brown’s game (and Jayson Tatum’s, for that matter) that’s shown improvement since 2018.
After leaping from only 2.7 free-throw attempts per game to 4.3, Brown’s attempts from the charity stripe spiked to five, this season. He’s also shooting at a 76.3% clip — which is an 11% increase compared to 2019.
Jaylen Brown: ‘I’m Learning And Growing On The Fly’
Jaylen, who’s ascended his game to an All-Star-caliber level, this season, was asked how he’s been able to navigate through these newfound issues. It’s a stage that comes with the territory when you’re developing into one of the league’s younger, brightest premier scorers.
“It’s a challenge that I accept,” Brown said. “I’m learning and growing on the fly, trying to find ways to let the game come to me, make my teammates better. But, also, inspiring our guys to fight every single night is definitely a challenge. Even in myself. So, just got to get better. Just got to continue to grow and get better. That’s all I really can say right now.”
In the midst of his breakout season, Brown’s averaging 26 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.3 steals. Making his second consecutive leap in his progression, no other Celtics player has made such strides in recent years quite the way Jaylen has.
In just two seasons, he’s ascended from a backup scorer, averaging 13 points at a 34.4% clip to an All-Star who’s just entering his prime.
The Celtics’ near-36 hour break, following their back-to-back set, ends Sunday for their matchup against the Wizards in Washington D.C.