The Boston Celtics are more than six months removed from their disappointing loss in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat. And despite that lengthy period of time, Celtics star Jaylen Brown hasn't forgotten what it felt like to come up short with the chance to play for a championship on the line.
In Game 7 of the Conference Finals, Brown led the C's in scoring with 19 points, but he also had a horrific eight turnovers and a plus-minus rating of -17. Although he struggled immensely, the two-time All-Star says he's learned a lot from the defeat, per Jay King of The Athletic.
“For the most part, reading the game,” Brown said when asked what the game taught him.
Early on in the 2023-24 season, Brown is averaging 22.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. While those aren't career-high numbers, the Celtics are 15-5 and in sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference. Plus, Brown's average of 2.5 turnovers per game is his best rate since the 2019-2020 campaign.
The 27-year-old guard credits that do-or-die defeat to Miami last spring as a big reason why he trained harder than ever this past offseason.
“It just inspired growth,” Brown said. “It just inspired me. Inspiration to improve is what it was. That's how bad it strung to come up short the way we did, but I wouldn't take anything back.”
Since the Conference Finals exit, the Celtics and Heat have met just once. Boston prevailed 119-111 in late October and Brown notched 27 points and six rebounds in 34 minutes. The two foes will meet again in Miami on Thursday, January 25th.