Ime Udoka addresses Jaylen Brown's All-Star snub


Should Jaylen Brown be joining teammate Jayson Tatum at the NBA All-Star Game for a second straight season?

Though the Boston Celtics (28-25) have been playing much better as a team of late, winning 10 of their last 14 games, they are still in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. 

If they'd found this stride earlier on, Celtics coach Ime Udoka notes that could have gone a long way in making Brown an All-Star along with Tatum.

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"He's a very highly-motivated guy," Udoka said of Brown. "That's a goal he strives for every year. The hamstring was one thing missing, but a lot of guys miss games for different reasons. What I said to him and to our team is, winning affects a lot of things. Record wise, we could be better and that would have helped his cause."

Brown, 25, is eighth in the Eastern Conference in scoring and 15th overall, averaging 24.2 points over 39 games. He's missed 14 for the C's due to various ailments, including a nagging hamstring injury.

After being named an All-Star for the first time in 2020-21, Brown's scoring has dipped ever-so-slightly from a career-high 24.7 points per game. His shooting numbers a down a touch as well, currently at 45.9 percent from the field (down from 48.4 last season) and 35.7 percent from 3-point range (down from 39.7). However, his free throw shooting is up from 76.4 to 78.8 percent, and he's averaging a career-best 6.6 rebounds per contest. 

There is still a chance that Brown makes an appearance in Cleveland for the game on Feb. 20 as an injury replacement. Tatum, who'll be making his third straight appearance at the All-Star Game, sounds like he'd appreciate Brown's company.

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