Jaylen Brown Name-Drops Disgraced Ex-Celtics Coach After Game 2 Win Over Hawks

Ime Udoka, Boston Celtics

Getty Head Coach Ime Udoka looks on during the second half against the Golden State Warriors.

The Boston Celtics took care of business on both ends of the floor during Tuesday’s Game 2 against the Atlanta Hawks and, as a result, find themselves sporting a 2-0 series lead in their best-of-seven quarterfinals matchup.

Though known as one of the best all-around teams in the association, Joe Mazzulla’s squad has truly been one of the best defensive units in the association throughout the 2022-23 campaign. And yet, despite this, not one member of the Celtics finished as a finalist for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award.

Following their recent win over Atlanta, Jaylen Brown was asked what the team’s reaction was to their lack of recognition in this year’s voting process and what he believes has been a major factor in their defensive rise. In response, the two-time All-Star gave credit to Boston’s coaching staff throughout the years, and, specifically, name-dropped Ime Udoka for his contributions.

“I think that we’ve been a group that’s hung our hat on defense all year. I think that we started the transition from even when Brad Stevens was the head coach to Ime Udoka taking it up a notch and even now and since we’re a defensive group, we play both sides of the ball and we do it at a high level. Sometimes it goes unnoticed, sometimes people, you know, depend on analytics to make their decisions but when it comes down to it, in moments like this, this is where our defense matters the most, in the playoffs. We’re looking forward to showing what we can do on that side of the ball this playoffs,” Jaylen Brown said

As a collective unit, the Celtics finished off this year’s regular season with the second-best defensive rating in the entire association (110.6) and held opponents to the fifth-lowest per-game point average (111.4).

Derrick White Gives Celtics a Reality Check

Though the Boston Celtics may have a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Hawks, Derrick White understands that the team can’t afford to get too comfortable.

Following Tuesday night’s affair, during his post-game media session, the combo guard discussed how the C’s need to start preparing for games three and four with a different mentality and strive to play at an even higher level when considering the fact that they’ll now be playing the role of guest down in Atlanta.

“We did what we were supposed to do. [We] held [home court advantage] and now we got the real challenge of the playoffs which is winning on the road,” Derrick White said. “I know they’re going to play better at home and we’re going to have to step up our level of play.”

What bodes well for the second-seeded Celtics is the fact that they tied for the second-best road record this past season at 25-16 and managed to win both of their games out in Atlanta by an average point differential of +18.

Trae Young Dishes on Derrick White Following Celtics Win

Paving the way in Game 2 for the Celtics was Derrick White who, by all accounts, was the club’s most effective two-way contributor on the night.

His production on the floor received a tremendous amount of praise both from the packed crowd at TD Garden and even from some of his opposing players, as Hawks star Trae Young discussed White’s impressive level of play during his post-game media session.

“Yeah, he’s just playing great basketball,” Young said. “And he’s opportunistic in some of the things that he does. But he also stands alone. He’s assertive. He’s getting into the lane and attacking the rim. He’s made big threes off the dribble too, which are hard to guard…And you know, there’s a lot of guys that have played well; we got another game coming up at home, so we’re gonna get ready for him.”

Derrick White finished off Game 2 with a stellar all-around stat line of 26 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 3 blocks while shooting 69.8% from the field and 40% from deep.