Jayson Tatum said you can't Al Horford for granted. Joe Mazzulla let the world know that sometimes we're taking Tatum for granted. Back in his old stomping grounds, it has become clear that Boston cannot underestimate the kind of effect Oshae Brissett can have when in the lineup.
Just a few days ago, in front of the media, Brad Stevens expressed some of what he thought the team needed ahead of February's trade deadline. The ex-Boston bench leader spoke on while he likes the rotation of big men, his preference would be to add a “big wing.” Could that "big wing" already be on the roster? Oshae Brissett has begun to make the case that it is.
The former Pacer took advantage of an increased role on Saturday night, demonstrating to his old team what exactly it's missing out on. You know those times throughout a work day when you need that spark to get you through? You don't always need it, but when you do, it comes in handy. It could be an energy drink or even a walk down the hallway. Brissett was that "energy drink" for the Celts, giving Boston the fuel it needed for as much time as it required. Mazzulla's crew wasn't perfect, especially at the charity stripe, but when No. 12 stepped on the floor, his impact gave the ball club some life.
His shot is not always going to fall, that's quite evident. Brissett is unfazed. It doesn't prevent him from putting his stamp on winning. In fact, he didn't score a bucket until there was less than 9:10 left in regulation last night.
You can see it in the way he plays -- he is simply not going to take any second on the floor for granted. It makes sense since he went undrafted in 2019. Against Utah, the other night, Brissett converted a second chance over the seven-footer Walker Kessler. Don't forget about his team-high two steals. In Indiana, he scored what could be looked at as one of the biggest buckets of the ball game; an and-one immediately after Buddy Hield cut the deficit down to six.
Some thought he would be featured more regularly in the rotation. So far, that has not happened. Playing in the fewest minutes per game of his career has not in any way shaped his attitude when Mazzulla has called on him. His confidence did not waver once last night. The ex-All-NBA G League Second Teamer had made just six threes all season, but when Al Horford gave him the rock off a turnover late the fourth quarter, No. 12 did not hesitate, extending the Celts' lead to 16.
“I’m always going to have that same energy because, you know, I’m here in the NBA and blessed to play the game that I love," Brissett said, "So any chance I do have to get out there, I just go out there and be myself.”
Oshae Brissett could be the guy who makes Brad Stevens hold off on making any moves for a Boston bench wing
Less than a minute after checking into the game, Brissett corralled a tough offensive rebound between three of Indiana's bigger bodies. Off that second chance, Jaylen Brown blew past Tyrese Haliburton for an easy two. The sharpness of his movements, and his motor to finish off the play make all the difference. It's all purposeful and when you combine that with athleticism---boy watch out. The 25-year-old has now amassed at least one offensive rebound in the last seven contests in which he has participated in.
Saturday was the third time this campaign that No. 12 in green and white had recorded three or more offensive boards. Al Horford and Kristaps Porzingis have combined for the same amount of games with five-plus offensive rebounds as Brissett so far this campaign.
The former Syracuse man acts like a shot in the arm. None of what he does is going to earn him notoriety. That does not mean it's not vital. All of it is necessary for success. Sure, you can go out and find someone on the market for the $6.2 million Grant Williams traded player exception, but what Brissett is providing at less than $3 million should make Boston second guess about using it. No matter when or for how much time over the course of a game, No. 12 finds a way to influential.
Joe Mazzulla gave Brissett his flowers in the post-game of the Indiana contest.
“I love the mindset that he brings," Mazzulla said. "The multiple efforts. The winning plays. The toughness. The physicality. Every time he’s in the game, you feel his presence, and he’s been playing great for us.”