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The Boston Celtics might have lost tonight, but they kind of won, too.

That sentence might not make sense at first glance, but a little context should help. More or less the same team (the Cleveland Cavaliers) that defeated the greatest regular-season squad in league history (the Golden State Warriors) to win the NBA championship just a few short months ago came away with a win against the Celts.


A two-possession win.

With two starters - one a bonafide All-Star (Al Horford), the other a possible candidate for the same (Jae Crowder) - out injured, and  a third (Avery Bradley) one game removed from playing with a cortisone shot to aid a chronically-injured shoulder.


Let's not forget they were without one of the team’s best shooters (Kelly Olynyk), likely several more games away from returning, and another key rotation player (Marcus Smart) just two games back from an injury, to boot.

Did I mention they started someone who was a teenager two weeks ago, who has precisely five regular season games to his career at this point, including tonight’s game?

That last bit is the clincher, folks.


In his first career start, Jaylen Brown’s assignment was only arguably the best player on earth - and he didn’t just survive, he excelled.

19 points on 8 of 16 shots, including 3 of 6 from deep - not bad for a guy who “can’t shoot”.


5 rebounds. 3 steals. 2 assists. Only ONE turnover.


Evan who?

That LeBron James guy? The one Jaylen had to guard? Well, he held him to six points in the first half.


Six. Points. You read that right.

If that doesn’t convince you the sky’s the limit with this guy, I don’t know what else could, at least not five games into their career.


Pump the brakes, you say. LeBron put up 30 by the end of the night.

Of course he did. I’m not saying we should have won - the Cavs clearly weren’t bringing their A-game, and probably not even their B-game to contend with an early-season tune-up against our depleted roster - but I am saying we will beat the Cavs, at least in the regular season. Quite possibly in the playoffs, too.

Moreover, the basketball gods, as cruel as they may have been to exact blood tribute from Boston early in the year in the form of Marcus, Kelly, Jae and now Al, might just be kind late in the season, especially after last year's finish.

I will not wish injury upon the enemy. But if said basketball gods did happen to wreak havoc on the Cavaliers, well…Boston will be waiting, and Jaylen Brown just might be Rookie of the Year by then.

Enjoy your win tonight, Cleveland. You’ll be seeing less of those sooner than you may have bargained.

Probably more of Jaylen, too.




Brown photo via Ron Schwane/AP
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 11/04/2016 01:09:00 AM Edit
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