How Celtics’ Jayson Tatum Encourages Jaylen Brown Amid Adversity

'We're at our best when he's the best version of Jaylen Brown'

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Jaylen Brown is experiencing more than a fair share of adversity here early in the season.

The Celtics wing has missed 13 of Boston’s 22 games so far after entering the season rehabbing from wrist surgery, getting COVID-19 and sustaining a hamstring injury in a Nov. 4 win over the Miami Heat.

He’ll miss another Friday, ruled out against the Utah Jazz as he continues to manage and recover from the injury. An unsurprising development, as Brown didn’t quite look like himself against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, grimacing and grabbing his leg at times.

“No, he didn’t he didn’t say anything,” Ime Udoka said after the win Wednesday, in reference to Brown’s health. “I thought he had a pretty good effort possession at the end there, so that’s what I was looking at, him denying Embiid the ball and scrambling around late.”

Brown had nine points, four rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes, shooting 3-for-11 from the field, against Philadelphia as the coaching staff ramped up his playing time.

But Brown has been listed as questionable entering the Celtics’ four most recent games, and wasn’t thrilled with how his body reacted immediately after his Nov. 22 return against Houston.

Flashes of Brown’s potential have been seen this season, but he’s hoping to find some consistency.

“Keep your head up,” Jayson Tatum says he’s told Brown.

“There’s times when I’m down and he sees it and I see when he’s down. But I know how hard he works and how bad he wants it. And you know, having COVID and a hamstring injury and trying to come back. — I know how tough it can be. And how bad you want something and it may not be going that way at the moment, how frustrating it can be but you’re still trying to find a way to win. We’re all human. We get down on ourselves sometimes and when you see that you know tell them it’s gonna be alright. Still try to still be him, because, we’re at our best when he’s the best version of Jaylen Brown. And sometimes guys just need to be reminded of it.”

Despite the speedbumps, Brown has played a nice complimentary piece to Boston.

Hopefully it’s only up from here.

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