It was a moment of defeat when Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics watched the Golden State Warriors celebrate their latest NBA championship at TD Garden after Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals. However, it was also a moment of inspiration for Brown and company.
According to the Celtics star, he was humbled by his squad’s defeat in the NBA Finals, and he has been using it as motivation ever since:
Jaylen Brown says the Celtics were "humbled" by their loss in the NBA Finals & it's been a driving force behind their success pic.twitter.com/9kb8gmRDfX
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 8, 2022
This mindset isn’t all talk either, as the Celtics have been on a tear during the 2022-23 season. They boast the league’s best record at 21-5 and are coming off an absolute blowout victory over the Phoenix Suns. Prior to Wednesday night’s 125-98 beatdown, the Suns were the top seed in the West, which makes Boston’s road win even more impressive.
After the big victory, Brown shared how the loss to the Warriors last season has fueled the team’s fire:
“Losing at the highest point in the NBA Finals–there’s nothing more humbling than that. There’s nothing that can bring forth humility like losing in the biggest moment of your career. Transferring to this season, we were all humbled and I think that’s a part of our makeup. We’re playing from the heartbreak.”
With the win over Phoenix, Boston has now defeated the top five seeds in the Western Conference, as they’ve also beaten the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, Denver Nuggets, and Sacramento Kings. The Celtics will get another crack at a West Coast titan in their next matchup, as they visit the team that caused last season’s heartbreak: the Golden State Warriors.
While the reigning champs sit at a lackluster 13-13, Boston cannot underestimate their firepower. However, Golden State also has to acknowledge that these aren’t the same C’s they took down last year. The Celtics added Malcolm Brogdon and have both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown playing at an All-Star level.
But, if the Green Team truly wants to show off how much they’ve improved from last season’s loss, they’ll have to prove it against the Warriors on the road on Saturday night.