Analyst's puzzling statement on Jaylen Brown: 'Least important' Boston Celtics starter

Mar 30, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) has a few words
Mar 30, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) has a few words / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

CBS Sports' Brad Botkin curiously called Jaylen Brown the "least important" Boston Celtics starter during his NBA title contender rankings on April 5; saying it to stress a point about the totality of the C's overall talent but ruffling quite a few feathers in the process.

"We should all agree that Boston is the most collectively talented team in the field," Botkin prefaced before saying, "Its starting lineup is off the charts. One could argue that Jaylen Brown is actually the least important starter and he might end up on an All-NBA team.

"Kristaps Porzingis stretches the spacing to the moon. When Jrue Holiday fell into their lap, it not only sent the Celtics to another level, but weakened Milwaukee. You can say Boston lives and dies by the 3, but its not dying very often. There are too many shooters for a few of them not to be dialed in."

Brown is the 1A superstar on the Celtics and without him, as the 2021 postseason showed -- and yes, we all know the 2020-21 roster was far worse than this one but the field was worse too -, without him, the Cs cannot come close to Banner 18.

Trying to figure out who is the least important starter is a fool's errand. Was anyone doing that during the Golden State Warriors' dynastic run through the late 2010s and early 2020s?

No? It's just a Boston thing? Got it.

Al Horford on Jaylen Brown's importance on the Boston Celtics

Hearing Al Horford talk about how important Brown's defensive contributions are, and how they inspire the rest of the roster, is pretty good proof that Botkin's assessment of No. 7 is way off the mark.

“Jaylen continues to take challenge after challenge,” Horford told reporters on April 3 (h/t Heavy Sports). “It inspires the rest of us because he does a lot on the offensive end and then he wants the responsibility on the defensive end.”

It's not a surprise that Brown's standing on the Celtics is still being questioned, but the Boston faithful know exactly how valuable he's been for the past several years since his absence caused the worst C's playoff performance of the post-Big Three era.