Jaylen Brown’s MRI was encouraging, but he’s doubtful for Game 1 vs. 76ers
Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, who suffered a hamstring strain in the team's Game 7 win over the Bucks on Saturday, is doubtful to play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the 76ers on Monday. But coach Brad Stevens said the results of the MRI were encouraging, and the team is optimistic that if Brown is sidelined, it will not be for long.
"I guess he could play [Monday]," Stevens said, "and then it doesn't look like it would be something — or it looks like it could be something that allows him to play as the series goes on."
"Massage, rest, ice, all of the above," Brown said Saturday when asked how he would recuperate. "I hate taking pills. Like, I probably haven't taken a pill in over 10 years. But they've got me taking anti-inflammatories and stuff like that. So just whatever it takes. Because I wouldn't miss this next series for the world."
Brown averaged 17.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during the series against Milwaukee. He left Saturday's game with just under four minutes left in the second quarter and attempted to return for the second half, but he started the third quarter riding an exercise bike. He said he was later cleared to reenter the game but Stevens kept him out as a precaution.
"We'll miss Jaylen," center Aron Baynes said. "He's definitely hard to make up for, but it's just going to be about trying to collectively do it."
This series will provide a bit of a homecoming for Celtics forward Marcus Morris, who is a Philadelphia native.
"I think I'm going to be a little nervous," Morris said. "Not the fact that we're playing on the road, but just playing in front of the people I was raised in front of. Being able to just go back all grown up and playing with the Boston Celtics. I think I'm going to be a little nervous at first."
Regardless of his ties to the city, Morris said his goal will be obvious.
"If I wasn't playing against them, then I would be rooting for them," he said. "But I could care less about Philly getting anywhere. If it was up to me, we'd sweep them and get it over with. But I know it's going to be a tough series. I know everybody's amped up to play."
The NBA announced Sunday that Game 3 of this series will tip-off at 5 p.m. on Saturday and Game 4 will start at 6 p.m. on Monday. Both games will be played in Philadelphia.