Jaylen Brown might be injured, but he’s also wise enough to know that rushing back is the last thing he – and the Boston Celtics – need.
Don’t get me wrong, Brown was just starting to turn things around, driving to the basket often and eschewing his disturbing tendency to shoot the team out of games. But he was clearly still struggling to find a role with the team, playing a new position with a new set of mouths to feed.
Instead of letting the injury, sustained in an avoidable loss to the Dallas Mavericks last week after a hard fall, weigh down on the young player’s already-rough start, Jaylen seems to be responding exactly how we’d hope. Said Brown of the injury and how it affected his attempts to come back last night against the Minnesota Timberwolves (per MassLive’s Tim Westerholm):
“I pushed it, did everything like I was getting ready for a normal game, but just still causing me some pains and the back spasms is what’s been killing me … So [Boston’s trainers] decided not to force it and I think it’s smart to listen … The tightness started to increase as I started to push it … I was doing full sprints, I was doing back pedals, karaoke, anything I would normally do, defensive slides and stuff just to push it, and my back started tightening up … But I still went through my shooting, and stuff like that. But as of now they said it would be smart not to get out there and force it, especially if I’m not 100 percent. So I thought it was smart to agree with them and obviously they have a lot of time and research spent to their craft, so I thought it was smart to listen.”
Indeed it is, as Brown trying to play through injury earlier in the month led to a lot of bad basketball, and with the team clicking on all cylinders in his absence with Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris in the starting lineup, he should take as long as he needs to to get right, and ease his way back into the lineup gradually.
— NESN (@NESN) December 1, 2018
As we’ve seen so far, with so many high-usage guys on the team, and Gordon Hayward starting to heat up, we may need to actively rest mostly-healthy players just to have enough time for players to excel.
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