Jaylen Brown sends self-deprecating message on Boston Celtics' series win against Heat

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Three
Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Three / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Jaylen Brown was hard on himself even after scoring 25 points in a series close-out win for the Boston Celtics against the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals; calling himself out from his 2023 Eastern Conference Finals series against the Heat and saying he could've played better over the past five games.

"Obviously, last year, I probably had one of my worst series in the playoffs just in general and that has just carried on from there," Brown said (h/t The Athletic's Jared Weiss). "Facing them in the first round this year, I still feel like I could have played a lot better and a lot more relaxed. Maybe put a little bit more attention on myself than I needed to. But still came out and was able to find ways to be aggressive and help my team win. Mashallah is full circle. Now we're just looking forward to the next."

Brown admittedly had a poor shooting performance against the Heat, though it didn't matter. Boston still had a +78 point differential against the formerly defending Eastern Conference champions. In the Eastern Conference Semifinals, though, he'll need to improve on a shaky 52/32/45 shooting slash with Kristaps Porzingis absent from the lineup.

Jaylen Brown doesn't feel he needs to have increased role for Boston Celtics without Kristaps Porzingis

Brown doesn't feel that he needs to overcompensate with an increased role in the Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Cleveland Cavaliers/Orlando Magic, instead emphasizing the need for the Celtics to play winning basketball as a team.

"No," Brown said when asked if he and Jayson Tatum need to pick up more of the slack without Porzingis (h/t The Athletic's Jay King). "I think we just have to continue to play our game like we’ve been doing our whole career and continuing to show our growth and trusting our teammates. I think if we’re going to win, we’re going to win as a team. And we’ve gotta be able to use everybody to their best strengths. So I think that’s what we’re more focused on is let the game come to you but do whatever it the game needs to get a win.”

Derrick White's dominance (25 points) in Game 5, dominance that followed from an all-time night in Game 4, should help keep the Cs afloat in the next round if it continues. Sam Hauser continuing to be a knock-down shooter will also keep the offense humming without Porzingis's spacing.

Brown and Tatum might not need to elevate their games, but doing so would ensure a more stress-free path to the Finals.