It was an injury-riddled regular season for the Boston Celtics, but fortunately they've entered the 2023 NBA playoffs mostly healthy. The only exception is the shooting hand of Celtics star Jaylen Brown, as he sliced it open about a week before Boston's first-round matchup with the Atlanta Hawks.
Brown needed multiple stitches in his hand and even re-opened the cut during a Game 1 win. The injury seemed to relatively impact his offensive presence in Game 2, however, he asserted that the healing process is going smoothly:
Jaylen Brown says his hand is feeling good and getting better every day. https://t.co/4I573oXBUe
— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) April 19, 2023
The 2-time All-Star put up 18 points on 14 shots and added two blocks and three steals as well. And in spite of his hand trouble, Brown's 35 minutes played were more than every other Celtic except fellow All-Star Jayson Tatum.
Mazzulla said Jaylen Brown didn’t ask out of the game and he didn’t hear about any right hand aggravation.
— Bobby Manning (@RealBobManning) April 19, 2023
Although Brown attempted more than 14 shots in each of his last 13 outings prior to Game 2, the success of Tatum and guard Derrick White could also explain why Brown was less involved. White and Tatum combined for 55 points and had every answer to the Hawks' intermittent runs.
As for the defensive side of the ball, Jaylen Brown was much more prevalent. In fact, he used his stitched-up hand to swat a layup from Atlanta guard Dejounte Murray:
Jaylen Brown blocks Dejounte Murray:
“Get that sh*t outta here.” 🗣️
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) April 19, 2023
Brown has solidified himself as an impressive two-way player, and that was on display during Boston's dominant Game 2 win. The C's will now travel down south to take on the Hawks in Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday night. Hopefully Brown can focus on resting up today and tomorrow and stay far away from any vases.