Jaylen Brown suddenly has a much larger role in the Celtics’ offense after Gordon Hayward suffered a fracture in his left hand last night, writes Sean Deveney of Heavy. Brown responded right away, scoring 30 points in the win at San Antonio, with 18 of those coming after Hayward left in the game in the second quarter.
It’s a chance for Brown to prove he’s worth the four-year, $115MM extension that Celtics management gave him last month. It was a surprise to many after Brown’s scoring average dipped to 13.0 PPG in a disappointing second season, but he believes it was a matter of what he was being asked to do.
“I wouldn’t say (the game) slowed down,” he said. “I just think a different role, more opportunity. I keep preaching that. I don’t think I had the same opportunity last year.”
There’s more from Boston:
- Hayward will meet with doctors tomorrow to determine if surgery is necessary, and coach Brad Stevens believes it might be the quickest path to playing again, Deveney relays in the same story. “It sounds like, should he decide that, the surgery option might actually be a better timeline,” Stevens told reporters after the game. “We’ll see what that all plays out to be. Who knows? It’s too bad.” The injury happened shortly before halftime as Hayward collided with LaMarcus Aldridge on a screen. He was wearing a cast on the hand as the team returned home.
- The emergence of Javonte Green gives the Celtics another weapon to help survive the loss of Hayward, notes A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Green has modest stats through six games, averaging just 3.0 points per night, but his numbers per 36 minutes (19.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 55.6% shooting) are similar to Hayward’s. Green earned the Celtics’ final roster spot after making a strong impression during Summer League and in the preseason.
- Marcus Smart was fined $15K for criticizing the officials after Thursday’s game in Charlotte, according to Justin Leger of NBC Sports Boston. “I wish they would call the game the right way, you know?” Smart said. “A lot of calls that they called, I didn’t understand where the fouls were. And it just seems like, whenever I get the ball and I’m on offense, I can’t get a call.”