Joe Mazzulla raves about Jaylen Brown after Boston Celtics cruise past Cavs in Game 1

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game One
Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game One / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Jaylen Brown was the star of the show for the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers; scoring a team-high 32 points on 12/18 shooting and, spectacularly, 4/6 shooting from beyond the arc.

Unsurprisingly, Joe Mazzulla was grateful for No. 7's showing, raving about his development after being the subject of scrutiny throughout the 2023 postseason and after signing his Supermax contract for lacking ball-handling skills with his left hand and the ability to shoot anything but mid-range attempts.

“Yeah, he takes a ton of pride in just growing as a player," Mazzulla said (h/t Inside The Celtics). "Every year, every game, every day. He spends a lot of time on it. He’s not afraid to go after something that he knows that he can improve on, which I think is huge for his growth mindset. And like you said, he has evolved.

“His ability to pick and choose his spots, when to play in transition. He had a couple times when he scored in transition, and two plays later, he slowed it down, went into the pick-and-roll, and made the right play. I think the growth with him, even if he scores six or eight in a row, he gets into the paint, and [makes the] pass [on the] next one. So, he’s grown as a player, and it’s helped us, and he’s playing big stretches for us. It’s important.”

Jayson Tatum has underrated do-it-all outing for Boston Celtics in Game 1

On the surface, Jayson Tatum struggled. He missed all five 3-point attempts he took and shot 7/19 overall.

But Tatum actually had the best on-court BPM (+18) of anyone on the team and went for a double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds) with five assists and three blocks while playing spurts as the team's de facto pivot.

For Tatum to struggle this much and the Cs still have minimal trouble putting away Cleveland is as good of a sign as Boston's fanbase could possibly hope for. Brown proved capable of stepping up and being the team's No. 1 option in his stead and Derrick White (25 points, 7/12 from 3-PT line) was a worthy No. 2.

Imagine a Celtics team firing on all cylinders. That's not what any team wants to see this postseason. Especially when Kristaps Porzingis returns.