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Why Celtіcs’ Jаylen Brown thіnks wіn vѕ. Mаgic іs theіr ‘bіggest’ of the 2023-24 ѕeaѕon

After the Celtics win to the Magic, Brown said the victory is the biggest one this season for the team. By 

Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown spoke after the team’s victory over the Orlando Magic Friday night, 128-111, and cited it as one of the more significant wins of the season so far. While the Celtics have had massive success this season, especially with now their record inside TD Garden at a perfect 13-0, they were down major pieces in the front-court like Kristaps Porzinigis and Al Horford.

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Brown himself was dealing with an injury as he’s suffering from a right knee hyperextension, but still scored 18 points. The star said that besides the team being undermanned, the Magic had the upper-hand on the Celtics in the past, so getting a win is important, especially on the second game of the back-to-back according to Jack Simone of Celtics Blog.

“I think this was the biggest game of the year so far, in my opinion, for us,” Brown said. “I think, one, we had a bunch of guys out, on a back-to-back, against a team that’s been kicking our ass the last four, five times we’ve played. So, I think this was the biggest game to me so far.”

On the season, Brown is averaging 21.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game as the No. 2 option on the team behind superstar Jayson Tatum. He on the other hand is averaging 27.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. Friday night, he scored 30 points in the win to Orlando.

Brown on the Celtics’ “next man up mentality”

Filling for the injured big-man mentioned before were the likes of Oshae Brissett and Neemias Queta who stepped up in a big way. Another huge performance was from guard Peyton Pritchard who had 21 points, making six of his seven shot attempts from the three-point line. Brown said it was the team’s next man up mentality that propelled the Celtics to a win.

“Next guy up mentality. That’s it. A lot of guys put in a lot of work behind closed doors. So, it’s great for them. When they get their opportunity, they come out and they ball,” Brown said. “Oshae, Lamar, their contributions to just get thrown right in there to play hard and play well was big. That was a good team win.”

The 27-year old player received a massive five-year, $304 million supermax contract extension in July of this year, which is the largest in the NBA. However, it doesn’t kick in until the 2024-25 season according to Front Office Sports.

Brown expecting a “long night” against Magic?

Brown admitted to the media after the game that they thought it was going to be a “long night” after Magic guard Jalen Suggs hit a three to start the game according to Orlando has been surging to start the season after starting 16-8 which puts them at fourth in the Eastern Conference.

“I think we came out, even though they came out swinging like the first shot they tocok was a three,” Brown said. “(Jalen) Suggs hit it on the left wing was tough, it was well defended but he made it, you know, and that can kind of be discouraging in that time, so it was like, oh it’s gonna be a long night,” Brown said. “But we took those punches and kept throwing punches back and that’s what we wanna, you know, instill in our guys. We fight, we make it hard for you, we play the game the right way.”

Head coach Joe Mazzulla credits team for overcoming adversity

Boston head coach Joe Mazzulla said it didn’t take much to motivate this team before the game due to the players’ mentalities and mindsets to know what is at stake. He praised the process the Celtics went through in this game that led to a key home victory over the Magic.

“I probably don’t have to do it too much, but the guys know,” Mazzulla said. “I mean, this is a team that’s well-coached, that is tough, that has played us very well the last four or five times we played them, and they’re going to play us really well, and I expect Sunday’s game to be extremely harder than tonight’s game was, so I don’t think you have to tell them. But it just says a lot to the guys to come on back-to-back short-handed and bring the right mindset, and the right intensity. I think it says more about us than it does about anything else.”

The Celtics are sitting pretty at 19-5 which puts them at the top of the Eastern Conference. Boston will face Orlando again on Sunday at the TD Garden to possibly bring their home record to 14-0.