Jaylen Brown sends strong message on how Boston Celtics view rest of regular season

Boston Celtics v New York Knicks
Boston Celtics v New York Knicks / Steven Ryan/GettyImages

Jaylen Brown shared on February 24 -- after his Boston Celtics defeated the New York Knicks 116-102 at Madison Square Garden -- just how the Cs prepare to navigate the rest of the NBA regular season:

They're focusing on the playoffs, and letting the regular season play out with little worry given the team's eight-game lead in the Eastern Conference (as of this writing) with 25 games left to play.

“When it comes down to the playoffs, none of that stuff really matters,” Brown said of the standings (h/t MassLive). “I feel like it’s gonna be about matchups, it’s going to be about playing hard. Obviously, home court matters so that is key. But when you get into the thick of it, you gotta win basketball games regardless of what your seed is. If anything, it puts more pressure on you. But I think we’re an experienced team. We’ve been in these situations before and I think we’re ready.”

Brown's attitude has changed a bit in the last week, with his comments during All-Star Weekend reflecting someone giving thought about the team's ability to stay focused on the prize at hand.

“It’s tough," Brown said (h/t NESN). "It’s a fight. It’s a mentality to be able to focus for long durations of time. I think that’s the challenge and in sports to have that ultimate focus because when you get deeper into the playoffs … the team whoever’s focus breaks first is going to be the team that loses.”

Boston Celtics locker room has perfect mix to navigate playoff waters

Not all stars are created equal. Kristaps Porzingis's arrival has seen the forming of bonds with teammates. Other arrivals, say in the summer of 2017 in a blockbuster trade also involving Isaiah Thomas, led to the dissolution of the locker room.

That's the same for former championship role players. Some, like Jrue Holiday, have made sure the team didn't hit its scheduled pre and post-All-Star break malaise. Others, like certain Kardashian-dating big men signed circa 2020, contributed to it.

The 2023-24 Celtics have a locker room with not just standouts on the floor, but off of it as well. Let's hope that's the much-needed difference to change Boston's fortunes come May and June.