For the second game in a row, late-game execution was a problem for the Boston Celtics. With a chance to take the lead against the New York Knicks with just 7.1 seconds left in overtime, Jaylen Brown missed two crucial free throws in Boston’s Thursday night loss.
If Brown had made both shots from the charity stripe, the C’s would’ve nabbed a one-point lead. Yet, like their loss to Miami on Tuesday, the Green Team failed to lock up the game in the final seconds.
When interim coach Joe Mazzulla was asked about Brown’s unfortunate misses, he responded with nothing but love for the star guard.
“I love you Jaylen,” he said. “I love you Jaylen and I believe in you.”
What is Joe Mazzulla's message to Jaylen Brown after the two missed free throws? pic.twitter.com/vnGvR46u0h
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) January 27, 2023
While fans might be upset with Brown and the rest of the C’s as a result of their three-game losing streak, Mazzulla clearly has no shortage of trust in his players.
Boston doesn’t have much time to lament its loss, as the rival Los Angeles Lakers come to Beantown on Saturday night. With Anthony Davis back in the lineup and LeBron James hungry to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, the Celtics will certainly have their hands full.
After that, they’ll have another tough matchup versus the Brooklyn Nets, which will feature recently named All-Star starters Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum going head-to-head. If the C’s want to avoid slipping in the standings and losing their first-place spot to the surging Philadelphia 76ers, they’ll have to tighten up and start to excel again down the stretch rather than wilt away.