UPDATE (7:54 p.m. ET): Jaylen Brown (hamstring) has been upgraded to probable for Game 2 against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, the Boston Celtics announced. He previously was listed as doubtful.
If Brown does play, it will be in a bench role, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said prior to the game.
ORIGINAL STORY: BOSTON — If nothing else, there’s at least a chance Jaylen Brown will play Thursday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.
If Brown does play, it will be in a bench role.
“Just because it’s such a late decision,” Stevens said. “And ultimately, if you have to come right out of the gate and chase (J.J. Redick) all over the place, that’s not something that we would be (comfortable with).”
If Brown doesn’t play, the Celtics are expected to once again deploy a starting backcourt of Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart. That will leave Smart with the unenviable task of chasing around one of the NBA’s deadliest sharpshooters.
“Marcus is gonna have his hands full, as you always do, when you’re chasing Redick around,” Stevens said.
Largely thanks to the improved play of youngsters Jayson Tatum and Rozier, the Celtics proved they can win without Brown in Game 7 against the Bucks and Game 1 against the Sixers. Still, when healthy, the 21-year-old’s size and defensive ability make him the player on Boston’s roster most equipped to handle Sixers guard Ben Simmons, as well as Redick.