Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Jaylen Brown calls Warriors' defensive game plan 'disrespectful'

The Celtics sent a message loud and clear to the Golden State Warriors after their 140-88 blowout victory at TD Garden, and that's don't leave Jaylen Brown wide-open.

In one of the more stranger defensive approaches against Boston so far this season, the Dubs elected to sag off of Brown on nealry every possesion to start Sunday afternoon's nationally televised matchup.

Brown, who took full advantage of the lack of coverage, would go on to hit three-straight 3-pointers in a span of 40 seconds, to spark a 23-1 spurt and finish with 19 first quarter-points -- a season best for the All-Star wing.
"I'm sure they thought that's what their best chance was, whoever came up with that defensive concept," Brown said folowing the win. "So, it's not personal. It was a little disrespectful to me, but it is what it is. I came out and I do what I do best."
It didn't end there, as the Celtics continued to pour it on, ending the first half on a 67-17 run and a franchise record 44-point advantage at the break.

Brown concluded his day with 29 points on 11-of-19 from the field, including 5-of-10 from deep in just over 22 minutes for the C's, who led by as many as 56 in the second half.
"We were really grateful for that," coach Joe Mazzulla told reporters of the Warriors' game plan. "Teams are going to guard us in different ways. We just got to stay open-minded to what gives us the best chance to win. There's a game plan, but then when the game starts, the game will tell us what we need to do."
As disrespectful as it may have seemed for Brown, according to Draymond Green -- the Warriors' defensive game plan was a last-minute decision just before tip-off.
"I don't think we really played a full defensive strategy to kind of dive into that. We implemented our strategy 15 minutes before we left the locker room," said Green during his postgame comments. "It didn't work. Oh well, we move on. It's okay. I thought it was fun, trying. I was actually all for it -- let's try it, see if it works. If it don't, oh well. But if it does, we found something."
Jayson Tatum also put up another MVP-worthy performance, netting 27 points on 9-of-13 from the field and 4-of-5 from long distance on his 26th birthday. Golden State's defensive strategy was clearly uneffective when it came to the All-Star duo of Brown and Tatum.
"You try different things, you got to pick your match-ups," Steve Kerr said in his postgame presser. "We wanted Draymond to be able to help on drives and make sure that we weren't giving up easy stuff in the paint."
Meanwhile, the Celtics not only put on an offensive clinic they were able to demenstrate why they're elite on the other side of the ball as well -- limting Stephen Curry to only four points on 2-of-13 shooting and missing all nine of his 3-point attempts (including two airballs) -- the Warriors overall hit 39.1% from the floor and were 7-of-41 (17.1%) from behind arc.

Brown had never been guarded like that before and while he's been pretty consistent at a 35.2% clip from 3 this season, he did mention that fact that he does tend to drive more into the lane to create better shot oppourtunites for his teammates -- who gave him the green light to shoot every chance he was given against Golden State.
"My teammates empowered me -- they were like, 'we don't care if you shoot every shot down'," Brown said. "On this team, it's about making the right plays, letting guys feel involved, and I feel like I've been doing that all season long, and I'm [going to] keep doing that. But, don't get it twisted."
Brown also added: "But if you want to dare me to shoot, we can do that too. I thought it was a little disrespectful, but we took advantage of it, and we didn't look back."
The Celtics at 48-12, will look to extend their 11-game win streak (season-high) when they face the Cleveland Cavaliers (39-21) Tuesday night on the road. TNT has the tip-off at 7:30 pm ET.    

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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