Boston Celtics

Jaylen Brown's All-NBA snub comes with a fitting silver lining

The Celtics star can still be rewarded for winning.

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Jaylen Brown has been a two-way force for the Boston Celtics this season.

On offense, Brown completed his most efficient regular-season campaign to date, shooting a career-best 49.9 percent from the floor and cutting down on his turnovers (2.4 per game compared to 2.9 per game in 2022-23) while averaging 23.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists (also a career high) per game.

On defense, he routinely accepted the challenge of guarding the opponent's best player and helped the Celtics finish with the second-best defensive rating in the NBA while earning a handful of votes for Second Team All-Defense.

And yet, Brown's two-way prowess wasn't enough to earn him an All-NBA nod. Despite making the Second Team in 2022-23, the 27-year-old just missed the cut this season behind the Third Team of LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Domantas Sabonis, Tyrese Haliburton and Devin Booker.

It's a tough break for Brown, who's now made three All-Star teams but just one All-NBA team. He also missed out on a bonus of up to $2.2 million by failing to make the All-NBA cut. The good news? The snub won't impact his future earnings, as Brown agreed to the richest contract in NBA history last summer after making All-NBA in 2023.

And according to Spotrac's Keith Smith, there's another way Brown can earn his money this year: by winning.

Per Smith, Brown can still earn his full bonus if the Celtics reach the NBA Finals this season.

As of now, the odds of Brown landing that bonus are pretty high: The Celtics have a 1-0 series lead over the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals and are heavy favorites to reach their second Finals in the last three years.

That's a fitting incentive for Brown, who like several of his C's teammates has sacrificed individual stats to prioritize winning. After the offseason additions of Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday, Brown attempted 2.7 fewer shots per game this season (17.9) compared to last season (20.6) and cut down his 3-point attempts per game from 7.3 to 5.9.

He's done whatever the Celtics have needed him to do to win games, whether that's setting the offensive tone in the first quarter, setting up talented teammates like Jayson Tatum, Porzingis, Holiday and Derrick White, or locking up the opponent's best player. The result was an NBA-best 64-18 campaign and an 8-2 record through the first two rounds of the playoffs as Boston breezed to its sixth East Finals since Brown entered the league.

Brown's dip in offensive production may have cost him an All-NBA spot, but it would be symbolic if the end result was the prize he covets more: a championship.

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