TORONTO — Celtics forward Jaylen Brown took aim at the quality of the special In-Season Tournament courts after he slipped and hurt his groin with eight seconds left in Boston’s 108-105 win over the Raptors on Friday night.
“The court was just slippery all game,” Brown said. “I think, as players, we’re all here for the In-Season Tournament because it’s going to generate revenue, excitement, competition, but we’ve got to make sure the floor is safe to play on. We can’t put our players out there and risk their health.
“Tonight, I thought the floor was unacceptable. I think guys were slipping all over the place, not just me.”
This was the Celtics’ second of four group-play games. They defeated the Nets at TD Garden last Friday in their first one.
The Celtics (2-0) have tourney games remaining against the Magic and Bulls.
The winners of the six groups and two wild-card teams will then advance to the single-elimination quarterfinals, and the semifinals and finals will be played in Las Vegas Dec. 7 and 9.
“The [court] we played on in Boston was fine,” Brown said. “I thought it was good. I think tonight it was just slippery. We’ve only played on two.
“I’ve heard some of the other guys mention they were slipping around, other teams in different places in the league. So I think they need to make sure that’s the emphasis before somebody gets seriously hurt.”
Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis agreed that the floor was slick and believed it led to travel calls in the game.
“So, definitely something I think that needs to be reviewed,” Porzingis said.
Brown was limping after the game and he said he was unsure if the tweaked groin will sideline him for Sunday’s game against the Grizzlies.
Tatum’s father named coach
Celtics star Jayson Tatum’s father, Justin, was recently named interim coach of the Illawara Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League. Justin Tatum coached Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis for 16 seasons, leading the squad to three state titles, before stepping down last year to join the Hawks as an adviser and scout.
He joined the team as an assistant this season, and became interim coach after coach Jacob Jackomas was fired following the team’s 2-9 start.
“I’m extremely happy for him and proud of him,” Tatum said before scoring 17 points Friday. “That’s a big, big step. I know he’s trying to build his resume and his coaching career … I’m excited for him and looking forward to him kind of changing that organization around.”
When Tatum attended Chaminade College Prep in St. Louis, he played against the CBC teams coached by his father. He said that Justin’s connection to Illawara Hawks owner Jared Novelly, a CBC graduate, led to his initial role with the Australian basketball club. And Tatum said that his father has even bigger goals as a coach.
“Ultimately, he wants at some level to coach in the NBA,” Tatum said. “I know he wants to do that. So I feel like this is a good way to go to high school, start in the pro level somewhere, and then hopefully one day he can coach in the NBA.”
Porzingis (knee) and Brown (illness) returned after missing Wednesday’s win against the 76ers.
Porzingis suffered a knee contusion in Boston’s win over the Knicks when he collided with Julius Randle. He hoped he would be able to play against Philadelphia but could not adequately reduce the stiffness in his knee.
“But I bounced back pretty quickly,” Porzingis said. “Honestly, it’s much better.”
The Celtics were thankful both were back, as Brown led the team with 23 points, and added 5 assists and 4 rebounds, while Porzingis scored two huge buckets in the final minute that were crucial to the win. The big man finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks.