The shocking loss of Jaylen Brown in the NBA Playoffs forces the Celtics to make difficult choices.

In the NBA Playoffs, Jaylen Brown hit a new low, which raises a lot of concerns for the Celtics.

Jayson Tatum injured his ankle while attempting to score on the Miami Heat’s opening possession of the Boston Celtics’ Game 7. Tatum persevered for 42 minutes, but he was plainly constrained; he only attempted 13 shots, grimaced frequently, and lacked his customary movement. Jaylen Brown’s offensive role has expanded as a result of the injury, both in terms of usage frequency and on-ball duties. By the conclusion of the game, Brown had committed eight errors while scoring 19 points on 8-of-23 shooting as Boston’s season was ended, 103-84.

Brown’s terrible series came to a close with Game 7. His performance dropped to 19.0 points on 46.4 percent true shooting and 24 assists to 25 turnovers after averaging 24.6 points on 62.9 percent true shooting in the previous two rounds. He shot 21 free throws and made 7 of his 21 attempts from beyond the arc. There were a few strong performances thrown in, but the Heat stifled him and took advantage of his most obvious offensive weaknesses. They are now preparing for Game 1 of the NBA Finals while Brown and the Celtics are making plans for the offseason, which is a significant factor in this.

Brown’s skill in transition and early attack is one of his defining characteristics as a scorer. In similar situations during the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers, he destroyed them, and he performs best when the defense has not yet organized. Miami, though, was aware of this and repeatedly worked to keep him out of those situations.

The Heat quickly set up their defense, surrounded Brown early in a possession, and piled bodies in the lane and on his drives. To blockade lanes going downhill, they use a no-middle strategy that gives assistance around the nail and from the strong side priority. Brown’s plan was thwarted as players including Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, Cody Martin, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo surrounded him. Rarely did he score a few simple baskets to get the night going. It was evidence of Miami’s cohesiveness and composure as well as a magnifying effect of Brown’s shortcomings that lead to a dependence on those early offensive opportunities.

Brown was left to fend for himself in the half-court as Miami’s defense remained tenacious, complex, and confounding as quick-hitting opportunities dried up. In the first two rounds, 36% of his shots, according to Cleaning The Glass, were made near the rim. During the Eastern Conference Finals, the percentage decreased to 28 percent. Before making 63 percent of them against the Heat, he made 69 percent of his field goals near the rim against the Sixers and Hawks. His free-throw percentage dropped from.229 through two series to.157 this round. Free throws, rim shots, and transition volume are highly prized commodities. Miami made sure Brown had a lot less of those delights.

His problems are mostly caused by ingrained flaws in his game that are made worse by a roster and strategy that are meant to expose them. Because he is a poor on-the-go playmaker and would not feed Boston’s army of floor-spacers, Miami could flood him with assistance. His handle is rather flimsy, especially traveling to his left, while operating downhill or via touch, and he was not able to navigate such waters with ease. As a result, it may crowd him and enter his body. He often engages in these two rude behaviors. The Heat increased their burdensome influence by taking use of them so frequently.

With each passing series, Brown’s kickout passing got better. However, he could not immediately fix his handle, which limited his ability to move about and negotiate traffic. His decision-making did not result in successful offense, especially for someone with a 30 percent usage rate, whether it was missing passing openings, forcing a drive when there was no room for one, or throwing up difficult shots. He must have worked really hard because so much of it appeared to be quite difficult.

The Heat deserve high appreciation not only for the plan and how it was carried out, but also for how well they identified, comprehended, and used Brown’s inclinations. They anticipated his maneuvers and the events preceding up to them, which they used to their advantage at different stages as seen below by a selection of defensive victories.

Butler pulls the chair in the first clip because he knows Brown loves to make contact with his opponent before turning into a turnaround jump shot, which leads to a turnover as Brown falls to the floor. Martin and Adebayo are prepared for the Marcus Smart-to-Brown backdoor cut that Boston frequently uses in transition (Miami consistently snuffed this one out) on the next play. When Brown tries to sweep him away with his off-arm, Vincent is waiting on Brown’s between-the-legs technique, ready for it. Last but not least, Robinson foresees the stepback three and blocks it.

With those examples, I could be constructing a mountain out of a molehill. The Heat capitalized on Brown’s habits and preferences, though, and put on quite the defensive clinic at his cost. The Heat seemed well-prepared for Brown’s habits and preferences.

Brown’s dismal 16.3 percent clip from deep contributed to his downfall in part. Regression weighed heavily on him (he concluded the playoffs at 38.8 percent) since, before to this series, he was 33-of-70 on deep balls in the playoffs. To Miami’s credit, it timely challenged many of his shots and forced him to settle for some risky, wobbly triples with its inside defense. Although regression was undoubtedly a major factor, it was by no means acting alone. Although he did not want it to be an excuse for his performance, he also appeared to be recovering from a left wrist injury. There were several variables involved in this.

This series should not be used as a comprehensive vote on Brown. He will return as the same outstanding player for the upcoming season. It ought to assist clarify the debate about him and enhance perceptions of his qualities, flaws, and potential areas for growth.

Criticisms of Boston’s offensive hierarchy and incompetence occasionally surface when Brown sits inactive for extended periods of time. However, unlike Tatum (a better scorer and facilitator) or Smart (a better facilitator), Brown lacks the capacity to seize control of resources, and the appropriate tactic might dim his spark.

He is a fantastic and adaptable off-ball scorer who drills threes, attacks closeouts, explodes off of cuts, and punishes mismatches. Like the majority of NBA players, including a number of other All-Stars, he is maximized when schemed touches are in his places. However, it has been challenging to scale up into a major on-ball role that requires advantage generation, passing diversity, and anticipatory decision-making. Miami’s personnel and game strategy provided answers to queries resulting from those inactive intervals by accepting that fact.

The Celtics entered the Eastern Conference Finals wanting to begin a campaign of atonement that would end with a championship after last season’s sad finale. Two weeks later, they had once more exited the playoffs without winning the title. One of the most important reasons is because Brown’s skill level has gaps, which the Heat emphasized.

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