The Celtics are off and running, putting a W in front of their first matchup of the season against the Brooklyn Nets. There was quite a bit of anticipation for game 1, and aside from just wanting to watch basketball, C's fans wanted to see just how well this years roster would look in a contest that counts. After looking pretty damn good in the preseason, the Celtics came out and for the most part looked solid through 3 quarters and two-thirds of the 4th one before looking like a total mess trying to close out the game.
Even with the near-catastrophe at the end of the game, there were some really bright spots showcased last night. Al Horford looked fantastic, and it looks like he's going to open up a lot of things in this offense that they just couldn't do in past years. Fans eager to see rookie Jaylen Brown were delighted to see him check in with over 7 minutes left in the 1st quarter, the first man off the bench. He quickly made an impact, scoring his first NBA bucket shortly after entering and then tried to murder Nets 7-footer Justin Hamilton on the baseline:
My goodness pic.twitter.com/uhuaZ9fjM6— Kyle George (@kyoo) October 27, 2016
Although he came up just short, we all got a glimpse of what can be. I'm fairly certain the Garden would have exploded if that dunk went down. Like, literally exploded. Brown commented on the attempt after the game, via Jay King MassLive:
"Nothing against Justin Hamilton, man," Brown promised. "I'm just out here playing basketball trying to make a name and trying to be the best version of myself and my team."
Brown notched 9 points, 2 rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a pair of blocks in just 19 minutes on the floor. He looked raw at times, and he was on the court for the Nets rally late in the 4th. He mentioned postgame that he definitely had some nerves going into that first pro game, via Chris Forsberg, EPSN:
"On a scale of 1 to 10? About maybe a 7 or 8," Brown said of his first-game jitters. "Just opening night, starting your career, you’re anxious, and you just want to come out, you have a lot of energy, and it’s hard trying to suppress some of that energy."
The knock on Brown coming out of his freshmen year at Cal was that he would take a long time to develop, and I think that was the biggest reason a lot of Celtics fans weren't crazy about drafting Jaylen back in June. But does this look like a guy who's not ready to play at the NBA level:
Jaylen Brown is a smooth operator on the block! The rook makes this turnaround bank shot look easy: pic.twitter.com/VBQ7jTtNaA— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 27, 2016
There's going to be plenty of room for improvement, I'm not suggesting the kid is an All-Star, but seeing that he has the ability to already get in the game and make an impact is a great start. Clearly Brad Stevens thinks Jaylen is ready to contribute now, he was the first guy off the bench in both halves last night:
Stevens: "I thought he had a lot of good moments. I thought that Jaylen did a pretty good job for a first game."
Many more ups than downs in his pro debut, and Jaylen certainly looks like he can be a factor for the Celtics on both ends of the floor this season. But the topic of the night for Jaylen had nothing to do with his game, and everything to do with his shorts:
Jaylen Brown has those 1980s shorts...— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) October 26, 2016
Most impressive thing about this game so far: Jaylen Brown's shorts— Jay O (@MrTrpleDouble10) October 27, 2016
Even when Jaylen Brown gets fouled on a dunk attempt it's super exciting. Plus he's rocking some 1980s/Stockton-esque shorts. #Celtics— Matt Langone (@MattLangone) October 27, 2016
Jaylen Brown asked if he’s bringing back short shorts: "I wouldn’t say that.”— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) October 27, 2016
Isaiah Thomas, nearby: “I WOULD!"
Between all the highlight dunks and his attire, at the very least Jaylen has a pretty solid costume for Halloween:
Photo Credit - Brian Babineau II - GETTY Images
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401
Mark Allison 10/27/2016 03:27:00 PM Tweet Edit