With the season on the line in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics played about as poorly as possible. The Celtics could barely make a 3-pointer, their defense was lacking, and they were turning the ball over constantly.
Jaylen Brown had the most turnover issues for the Celtics, as he produced eight of them in 43 minutes of play. Coupled with a bad shooting night, those mistakes likely cost Boston the game against the Miami Heat and ultimately, their chances at the NBA Finals.
Conference Finals hero Caleb Martin helped the Heat throughout the series with some hot shooting. Following Miami's victory he revealed his team's key to success. Martin claimed that the Heat were focused on forcing Brown to his left hand as much as they could, via the Dan Le Batard Show.
“That's always the game plan,” Martin said.
Although it seems so simple, shifting Brown to his non-dominant hand seemed to work. Plus, since the Celtics' other All-Star in Jayson Tatum sprained his ankle early in Game 7, Miami had plenty of opportunities to harass Brown once he became the focal point of the offense.
The Heat cracked the code on Jaylen Brown…
Just force him left pic.twitter.com/YbOXHxcdZp
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) June 1, 2023
Overcoming an outing in which you're shooting 21% from deep is hard, but adding 15 total turnovers to that equation makes it nearly impossible. Brown wasn't expecting to have to will the C's to victory in Game 7, and unfortunately, he didn't look fit for the job.
As a result, the two-time All-Star's future in Boston isn't super clear. The Celtics will have to set a lot of money aside for Brown and Tatum, and that could really restrict the team's financials. Yet, that duo has led the Green Team to an NBA Finals, so the front office might not be eager to blow it up. Regardless of what happens, the C's have a tricky offseason ahead of them while the Heat have a shot at their fourth NBA title.