Celtics’ Jaylen Brown May Have Given Heat More ‘Bulletin Board’ Material

Jaylen Brown

Getty Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics looks on against the Miami Heat during the first quarter in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 19, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Jaylen Brown may have inadvertently given the Miami Heat some extra motivation heading into Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Shortly after the No. 8 seed Heat beat the No. 2 seed Boston Celtics to move to 3-0 in the series, the Celtics star spoke to the media and referenced some of Miami’s undrafted players, who have been shining in recent games.

The Heat has a total of seven undrafted players on its roster, and several have been huge against the Celtics, led by Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, Caleb Martin and Duncan Robinson.

“To their credit, they’re playing well above their means,” Brown said about the Heat after Game 3, via CBS Sports. “They balling right now, and I’ve got to give them respect. Gabe Vincent, Martin, Strus, Duncan Robinson, guys that we should be able to keep under control are playing their a** off.”

Heat’s Bench Is Coming Up Big in Series vs. Celtics

It’s clear Brown meant no disrespect by his comments, but that doesn’t mean the undrafted members of Miami’s squad won’t take some umbrage with his words.

“No wonder the Miami Heat have had little trouble finding fuel amid this unexpected playoff run,” Heat insider Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinal wrote on May 22, adding: “There, right there, is your bulletin board [material] for Game 4.”

Miami’s leading scorer, Jimmy Butler, scored 16 points in Miami’s Game 3 win, the lowest output he has had in any game so far during any 2023 playoff series, and when Butler’s scoring slowed, his lesser-known teammates picked up the slack.

Miami shot 56.8% from beyond the arc in Game 3 and the contributions from the team’s bench — and from its undrafted players in general — were key. The Celtics’ bench amassed 51 points, while two of the Heat’s undrafted players, Robinson and Martin, scored 40 of the 55 total points scored by Miami’s bench.

Vincent, who started, was also huge. He paced the Heat with a game-high 29 points, while Strus, another starter, chipped in 10 points. If Miami’s supporting cast continue to play this way around Butler, Miami will be heading to the NBA Finals soon.

Caleb Martin on Playing Celtics: ‘We Got the Matchup We Wanted’

Vincent and Martin have made 10 shots apiece from downtown through three games against Boston, which is more than all of Boston’s starters have made in the series, according to StatMuse.

After losing to Boston in the Conference Finals last season, Miami has a prime opportunity for redemption a year later, and it’s clear the Heat have been fueled by this opportunity.

“I just think that we got the matchup we wanted,” Martin said after Game 3, via Nick Friedell of ESPN. “We got to see the team who took us out last year, and there’s nothing like a second crack at it. So I think that we are just trying to take advantage of that, and you know, we are playing like we have something to prove. We’re just a bunch of guys with a chip on our shoulder, so we just want to continue to prove that.”

If Miami can get one more win, it will move on to face the Denver Nuggets in the finals.

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