When the Boston Celtics mounted a fourth-quarter comeback and then tried to hold off the Philadelphia 76ers in overtime of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Jaylen Brown was notably absent on the offensive end.
And it wasn’t due to Brown spending time on the sideline. He played 44 minutes — the second most on the team behind Jayson Tatum — in the 116-115 defeat at Wells Fargo Center, but only took three shots attempts from the start of the fourth quarter to the game’s final buzzer.
The lack of Brown’s presence in the offense at the most critical junctures of the game has him thinking of making a change as the best-of-seven series shifts back to Boston.
“I guess I got to demand the ball a little bit more,” Brown told reporters, as seen on NBC Sports Boston postgame coverage. “I thought good things happened when I had it in my hands. I thought our offense was OK. I thought we chipped away, we made big-time shots, we got great looks all game long. We just came up short in the end.”
Game 4 followed a familiar script for Brown as it played out a lot like his Game 1 performance. In the series opener, Brown hoisted only 10 shot attempts, with seven of them coming in the first quarter and propelled him to 14 points after 12 minutes.
Brown yet again got off to a torrid start to begin Game 4, scoring the first 10 points for the Celtics. But he wasn’t able to keep up that pace and then disappeared over the two most important frames of the game with his lack of offense also being compounded by a disastrous defensive lapse. And Tatum knows this can’t be a continuous act from his co-star.
“One our best players, we want him to be aggressive,” Tatum told reporters, per league-provided video. “We need him to be aggressive. That’s on him, it’s on us, it’s on everybody to help make sure we’re putting each person in the right position to be successful.”