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Celtics Star Has Perfect Final Response To All-NBA Snub

May 27, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; The Boston Celtics celebrate their win against the Indiana Pacers game four of the eastern conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Celtics star Jaylen Brown had the perfect final response to his All-NBA snub: winning the Eastern Conference Finals MVP. By winning the 2024 Larry Bird Trophy, Jaylen Brown let his work speak for him.

Celtics Star Has Perfect Final Response To All-NBA Snub

In our world where even mundane statements by star athletes are hyper-analyzed, it’s hard to imagine the amount of pressure players are under when they sign huge contract extensions. Imagine how much pressure a player is under when he signs the biggest contract extension in history.

This past off-season, Jaylen Brown became the first player to get a $300+ million contract extension. The number might be closer to $286 million depending on how the 2024-25 cap shapes up. This supermax contract reflects the amount of success he has had with his co-star Jayson Tatum over the past couple of years: three consecutive 50+ win seasons, a 60+ win season, multiple conference finals appearances, and an NBA Finals appearance.

Many questioned why the Celtics were paying Jaylen Brown this hefty contract. Following his disastrous ball-handling against the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals and the team’s collective collapse against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals last year, it was fair to question the logic behind the contract. Heck, he wasn’t even the best player on his team. How has he responded? By playing the best basketball of his career.

All-NBA Snub

Brad Stevens and the rest of the Celtics front office did their best to surround Brown and Tatum with elite two-way complementary players such as Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis. Derrick White was given a bigger role, and the team blossomed. The team finished with their fourth-best record ever (64-18) and a historic 11.6 net rating (a franchise record and the fourth highest in NBA history).

Brown’s traditional stats dipped slightly to accommodate the team’s success. His field goal attempts per game dropped from 20.6 to 17.9, his lowest in four years. His points dropped from 26.6 to 23.0 per game. Perhaps this was why he couldn’t get enough votes to make an All-NBA team despite his team’s success. He was the top runner-up, with 50 third-place votes.

A closer look at his stats reveals the career year he had. Brown had his second-highest effective field goal percentage (.557), especially finding success shooting two-point field goals (.570). He had a career-high in assists (3.6) while having the highest assist-to-turnover ratio (1.50) of his career. His stocks (steals and blocks) of 1.7 per game were the second highest of his career.

He embraced the two-way assignment given to him by Joe Mazzulla. Brown often took on guarding the opposition’s best player. He took on the Zion Williamson matchup in the Celtics’ game against the Pelicans in March and excelled. Brown finished in the top-22 in defensive win shares, a stat that measures the quantifiable amount that the team’s defensive ability increases while the player is on the court. He became an elite on-ball defender this year.

Brown even tried to help the league save its dying dunk contest, becoming the first All-Star to appear in it since 2018.

Perfect Final Response to All-NBA Snub

Brown initially downplayed the snub after the game, but it was clear that he was riled up by it in Game 2.

“I mean, we’re two games away from the Finals, so honestly, I don’t have the time to give a f—,” Brown said when asked if missing out on All-NBA gave him extra motivation.

Brown dropped a 40-point performance just twenty-four hours after the NBA released its All-NBA teams. He hit the game-tying three to send the game to overtime, where the Celtics eventually prevailed, 133-128.

Brown was arguably the driving force behind the Celtics’ sweep of the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals (ECF). He averaged 29.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.0 steals for the ECF. There was a case for his brother-in-arms, Jayson Tatum, to win his second Larry Bird Trophy, though. For the series, Tatum averaged 30.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.3 steals. It’s almost poetic that as the Celtics operate a binary star system, each star gets his Larry Bird Trophy.


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