Boston’s Aron Baynes is determined to protect the basket at all costs, even if the results routinely put the Aussie big man on the wrong side of a SportsCenter highlight.
Brown still had a bit of a scowl as he settled in behind the microphone. Despite wearing a “7uice” sweatshirt that incorporates his jersey number and “Juice” nickname, the 21-year-old was in no mood to talk about himself. He had posted a career-best 34 points and, with help from rookie Jayson Tatum, nearly willed Boston to victory after the Celtics overcame a 20-point deficit.
When Brown was done, a reporter wondered how many shots in a row he had been trying to make before he finally called it a day.
Said Brown: “Enough to feel good about myself.”
But the only thing that will truly make Brown feel good is to win. And win now.
Marks: Two teams not named Cleveland or Golden State. It is hard to bet against the Cavaliers and Warriors, but I am sticking with the top seeds, Toronto and Houston. As both teams have proved early in the playoffs, having home court gives them a distinct advantage over the field.
Pelton: Philadelphia and Golden State. Nobody in the East is playing at a higher level right now than the 76ers, and they have the cleanest path to the conference finals. On the other side, I go back and forth between the Rockets and Warriors daily. Who ultimately wins a potential conference finals matchup may hinge on the health of Curry and Luc Mbah a Moute.
Kevin Pelton, ESPN Insider: I think Thunder-Jazz is the most compelling Game 6 from a strategic standpoint. Oklahoma City changed the series in the second half of Game 5 by switching more pick-and-rolls and playing harder on defense. According to Second Spectrum tracking, Utah’s shot quality dropped from a 55.3 percent qSQ in the first half (quantified shot quality, the effective field goal percentage we’d expect from average players taking those shots based on location, type and nearby defenders) to 51.6 percent after halftime.