The Boston Celtics are now in complete control of the Eastern Conference Finals after cruising to a win in game two on Thursday night. The Celtics survived a thriller in overtime in game one, so they are now up 2-0 in the series. The Indiana Pacers played well early in game two as they led for most of the first quarter, but the Celtics went on top early in the second quarter and never looked back. Boston had a comfortable lead in the fourth, and Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle didn't seem to push for a comeback. It surprised Jaylen Brown.

Indiana still had work to do in the fourth quarter as they came into it down by 13, but it's not like the game was over. Still, Rick Carlisle felt like it was best to start rotating in some deep bench guys to begin the fourth quarter, and his starters didn't play much. It was surprising to see, and Jaylen Brown talked about it after the game.

“I don't know what the reasoning behind it was, but we were focused on winning the game,” Brown said, according to a tweet from Daniel Donabedian. “I think that's what our focus was, but yeah, that definitely was a little weird.”

It was odd to see. This is the Eastern Conference Finals and you typically see teams doing whatever it takes to get a win, but it seemed like Rick Carlisle and the Pacers were throwing in the towel early, and it caught a lot of people off guard, including Brown.

Jaylen Brown had an outstanding performance in game two as he ended up finishing with 40 points, which led all scorers. So far, he has been the hero for the Celtics in this series. He hit a crazy game-tying three in game one with five seconds left, and then the 40-point performance in game two. Brown has come to play for the Eastern Conference Finals.

Rick Carlisle's reasoning for decision that surprised Jaylen Brown

ndiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle watches from the sideline as they take on the Boston Celtics during game two of the eastern conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at TD Garden.
© David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Jaylen Brown wasn't the only person surprised to see Rick Carlisle and the Pacers empty the bench so early. Most everybody that watched the game were curious about the decision, and Carlisle was asked about it after the game. He wanted to see some new guys get some action.

“To look at some guys that I thought needed a look,” Carlisle said, according to an article from Indy Star. “McDermott went in there and played well. Isaiah Jackson brought a lot of fight to the game. Jalen Smith hasn't had much of an opportunity to play in the playoffs, so I wanted to see where he was at. We weren't giving up, but it was an opportunity to get some energetic fresh guys in there to fight. They did some good things.”

Not only did Carlisle want to see some new guys give it a go, but he also noted that some players, like Pascal Siakam, looked tired.

“The guys who had played to that point, Pascal [Siakam] was very tired,” Carlisle said. “Aaron [Nesmith] had four fouls and he was tired. That was it.”

Now, the series will be shifting over to Indiana, and the Pacers need to step up at home. Jaylen Brown and the Celtics will be looking to go up 3-0 in the series when game three takes place on Saturday night. The game will get started at 8:30 ET, and it will be airing on ABC. Boston is currently favored by 7.5 points.