PHILADELPHIA -- After signing an extension worth as much as $115 million earlier this week, no one knew for sure what to expect from the Celtics' Jaylen Brown in his first game of the season.
Four fouls in his first nine minutes of court time?
No one saw that coming - certainly not Brown.
It was among the many things that did not go the Celtics’ way in their 107-93 season-opening loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Brown, who turns 23 years old Thursday, had eight points and seven rebounds with one steal.
But the foul trouble, his and that of his teammates as well, was a major factor in the Celtics’ struggles.
“It was tough; we have to be better at not fouling, starting with me,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston. “I got in foul trouble. That just threw everybody’s rhythm off a little bit.”
Boston shot just 36.7 percent from the field and 26.9 percent on 3’s (7-for-26) while the Sixers connected on 43.5 percent of their shots from the floor with many of the shots going down for Philly coming with Brown on the bench as a spectator.
More than anything else, Brown’s biggest takeaway has to be learning how to be a more effective player despite being in foul trouble.
“You have to adjust with the game,” Brown said. “See how the game is being called, adjust. I did a bad job of adjusting.”
But as we’ve seen as Brown enters his fourth season with the Celtics, more often than not he follows up periods of struggle by successfully navigating his way past those occasional stretches of choppy waters.
And by doing so, it’ll serve as a reminder of Brown’s consistency when it comes to improvement, which was among the many traits that gave the Celtics confidence that investing $115 million in Brown was a wise decision both for what he can do presently and for what he’ll strive toward accomplishing in the not-so-distant future.
“Jaylen has made tremendous strides over the last three years and has become a fantastic player for us on both ends of the court,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a statement shortly after Brown signed his new deal. “He’s a great person and hard worker who, at (23) years old, can score and defend against the best players in the NBA. Jaylen is a true professional who did a great job accepting his role last season, and he is a major part of our championship goals.”
While most of the talk following the loss was centered on the moment, Brown was already focusing on Friday night’s home opener against the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors.
“That’s going to be exciting. For sure I’m looking forward to it,” Brown said. “Home opener; the energy is going to be crazy. And we’re looking to split our first two games. So stay tuned for that game, that’s going to be a good one.”
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