Celtics Notes: Brissett, Pritchard, Hauser, Brown

Oshae Brissett has mostly been out of the rotation since signing with the Celtics this summer, but he took advantage of an opportunity to play on Friday night, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. With Al Horford, Kristaps Porzingis and Luke Kornet all sidelined by injuries, the 6’7″ Brissett was called on to help protect the rim in small-ball lineups. He responded by making all four of his shots and scoring 11 points in nearly 16 minutes. He had just 14 points all season before Friday’s game.

“It’s tough, wanting to win and wanting to do so well and trying to play perfect,” Brissett said. “You can’t really do that as a basketball player, especially in limited minutes. You’ve just got to be yourself and play a little free. It’s tough, again, because you want to do the right thing so bad. But, at the end of the day, it’s basketball and I’ve been playing basketball for a long time.”

Himmelsbach adds that Brissett has remained focused while he’s been out of the lineup, studying the game from the bench to identify ways he can help the team. Brissett also receives regular guidance from coach Joe Mazzulla, who reminded him that his shooting in a game two years ago with Indiana sparked the Celtics’ interest.

“I know what I can bring to the table, and that’s energy and being excited to be out there with these guys,” Brissett added. “And any given night I can get out there, I’m just going to do that.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Jaylen Brown was dealing with hypertension in his right knee, but he was determined to play in what is becoming an intense rivalry with Orlando, per Brian Robb of MassLive. The Magic had won their previous four games against the Celtics, including an in-season tournament contest in which they ran up the score in the final minutes to help with point differential. “In my opinion, for us, I think one we had a bunch of guys out and were on a back-to-back versus a team that’s been kicking our ass the last four or five times we played,” Brown said. “I think this was the biggest game to me so far.”
  • Payton Pritchard is showing the Celtics that they’re better off keeping him than using him as a trade chip, Robb observes in a separate story. Pritchard, who scored 21 points in 28 minutes on Friday, and Sam Hauser have become the leaders of a bench unit that is exceeding expectations. “Like I said, those guys since day one,” Mazzulla said. “I coached them both in Summer League, so I’ve always known they were going to be great rotation players, and I had full confidence in them last year, and full confidence in them this year.”
  • Brown, a member of the NBPA’s executive committee, endorsed Andre Iguodala‘s recent ascension to interim executive director, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe, who notes that Brown indicated he may also have interest in leading the players union after he retires from basketball.
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