Celtics Blog 2017-

Game Two.

Debacle: Part II.

By Tom Mahoney

There was point in the 2nd quarter (yes with the Cave up forty) where it looked like Brown was the only guy who could run with the Cavs athletically. "I like his progress, I like what he’s done thus far," Brad Stevens said. "I think we’ve thrown him into the fire a little bit at two positions, but ultimately that’s how we have to move forward. And hey, there’s going to be some growing pains with some of these young guys. You have to understand that. But if you bring something to the table that helps our team win, that’s what we have to consider first and foremost." He looked like the only one who could defend and score on them.

In Game One the Cavs brought in Korver, and Stevens matched up Brown on him? Why. They need to match him up on LaBron. Stevens finally put him in with 3:51 to go in the 2nd (which is just terrible). He made an impact right away. He drew the triple team in the paint, and kicked it out to Jerebko for a wide open Three (he missed). 

Now up to that point the Celtics had been defenseless (literarily;). "We have to play a lot better," Stevens said. "So we're going to focus on us, we're going to figure out ways to play better and we're going to go after it on Sunday. We're getting on that plane to play well." Brown is the only one who comes close to having the athleticism to stay with LeBron.

Brown got on LaBron and fouled him as he scored. But then came down on the offense end and scored on a nice drive, and great spin move into the Paint. Looking like the only guy who could run with the Cavs intensity. The Cavs were playing at a different level and speed. The Celtics looked like they had never seen that Finals' speed before. Brown was the only one who seemed to be able to play at that speed.

On the next shot, he turned and shoved Tristan Thompson out of the Paint in a great box-out. He turned the ball over with a bad pass. By the way, Smart was the only other guy who looked like he could hang with the Cavs defensively. Brown knocked Love's dribble out of bounds. Then he immediately got back up in Love's grill, and made him shoot an airball. He made Love look as foolish as the Cavs were making the rest of the Celtics look.

He got the ball to lead the next offensive set, and looked to pass off like a rookie instead of a leader. On the next position he dribbled around a little too much. But drew another defender and dished to Bradley for an open J (he missed). When Brown got aggressive, he was creating shots for his teammates and himself already. 

On defense he was playing with the double on LaBron, which had no affect on him. Then he set a nice pick for Isaiah and rolled to the hoop. Isaiah hit him, and he leaped into Tristan to cause the contact, and the kissed it amazingly off the glass lefty. That was a great shot. He was the best Celtic player in the 2nd quarter, and the only Celtic who consistently created offense for himself and his teammates in that debacle. Then he didn't start the 3rd? 

There was no flattop until 3:05 to go in the 3rd. But at least Brown was finally on LaBron. LaBron decided to play the Point and dished to Kyrie. He forced LaBron to dish it again on the next possession. Then slapped the return pass out of bounds. Now it looked like LaBron was taking it easy on the rookie (up 43, oops up 46;). But Brown was not backing down. Then the Cavs starters went to the bench. 

Brown brought it up before the 3rd ended, and hit a nice Jumper in garbage time. Then he got head butted reaching in on Shambert. But he got up, and when he got the ball back he drew a foul attacking the rim for two FTs. He grabbed a rebound to start the 4th. He took a couple rookie shots. Then stole the ball and got hacked going to the hole for two more FTs. 

Then he made a beautiful move driving lefty, but missed the lefty layup. Then he stole the ball again and took it down and scored on a break away. Smart also started to look like he could run with these guys. He had a cool head in the 2nd Half.

Brown really showed he could drive to the hole with either hand. He got a rebound with less than 4 to play, and brought the ball up. Then he saw a crack and exploded through a triple team, and seemed to triple-pump for a very impressive and one. Then he burst to the left on the next possession, and exploded over Jefferson for a great thunder dunk. 

"He has to start Game Three," I wrote, as Brown grabbed a D-rebound, brought it down, dribbled into the paint, and dished to Jerebko for a freebie. "Not every stint is going to go great," Stevens said. "We believe in Jaylen when his number is called." He was the best player on the floor for the Celtics in Game Two (granted it was mostly in garbage time;).

With Isaiah's hip injury not allowing him to drop 30, the Celtics will be swept. "It's hard," said Horford. "It's hard to take. We've worked really hard and put ourselves in this position to be here in the Conference Finals, and it's been tough for our group. Tonight was just real rough. There's just no way to put it. It's definitely a low point for our group. Like I've said, the only thing that encourages me is that our guys, we're all staying together. We're going to fight through it. We have that mindset." So Brad needs to start Jaylen and get him 20-minutes on the LaBron in the 1st half, and not just in garbage time in the 2nd Half. 

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