Jaylen Brown sends strong message on Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis' importance to Boston Celtics

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics / Maddie Schroeder/GettyImages

Jaylen Brown has been close to the mountaintop but never at the zenith in his seven full seasons with the Boston Celtics, but here in his eighth year, he's closer than ever to becoming a Beantown legend by helping the Cs hang Banner 18 from the TD Garden rafters.

He's on the precipice of a championship because of the improvements the Celtics front office made before the 2023-24 season; namely, trading for Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis.

Ahead of a Game 2 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals matchup with the Miami Heat, Brown praised the pair individually for their respective impacts on the C's winning ways.

“Jrue, you see it in his eyes this time of year,” Brown said (h/t MassLive). “He turns it to a different level and ramps up his competitiveness, his attention to detail — and his focus is extremely high. So we all have that accountability where if you make a mistake our guys can speak to each other that way and it not be derogatory or negative. We take it, we accept it and we improve on it.”

Regarding his bromantic counterpart Porzingis, Brown had specific demands from the Latvian big man.

“KP is big,” Brown said. “We need KP to be solid, show his hands, not get in foul trouble and make the shots tough. You don’t got to get a block every time. Just make it tough and we’ll live with that. We’ve also got to rebound and that’s coming from our wings and our guards.”

Boston Celtics added needed championship pieces in Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis

Make no mistake: the Celtics were moving backward following the 2022-23 season and needed a shakeup in a big way. We didn't know it at the time, but Malcolm Brogdon was likely to never suit up in a Celtics uniform ever again after nearly being traded for Porzingis, and Marcus Smart's departure hurt, but ultimately emboldened Jayson Tatum and Derrick White to thrive with increased usage.

Holiday and Porzingis are championship pieces who elevate the team's ceiling, ideally enough to overcome all challengers. The most important of those is the reigning champion Denver Nuggets, and the hope is Holiday can stick Jamal Murray and Porzingis could be the best possible player to guard Nikola Jokic.

Brad Stevens should be Executive of the Year, but time will tell if the Association will value greater leaps from other teams over being the best team, on paper, in the league to widening that talent gap.