Boston Celtics

Jaylen calls out key issue of Celtics offense in loss to Warriors

"I feel like we kind of settled at times."

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Boston Celtics love the deep ball, but Tuesday night was a reminder of what can happen when the 3-pointers aren't falling.

The Celtics, who lead the NBA in both made threes and attempted threes per game, missed a franchise record 41 3-pointers against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center, going 17 for 58 beyond the arc en route to a 132-126 overtime loss.

While most of those threes weren't necessarily bad looks -- 47 of Boston's 58 attempts qualified as "open" shots, per NBA tracking data -- you could argue the Celtics could use more offensive balance by attacking the paint more.

Jaylen Brown certainly subscribes to that mindset.

"We missed a lot of shots, missed some easy shots at the rim, a lot of wide-open looks," Brown said after the game, "but I feel like we kind of settled at times. We could have been more aggressive getting to the paint. We settled for a lot threes."

Brown practiced what he preached Tuesday night: He attempted just four 3-pointers and scored 27 of his 30 points in the paint or at the foul line. Brown helped Stephen Curry pick up his fifth foul in the third quarter when he backed down the Warriors star and scored over him in the paint.

But the Celtics All-Star felt Boston's offense was stagnant at times in the fourth quarter and overtime as the team tried to hunt Curry and get him to foul out.

"They did a good job of hiding him," Brown said of Curry. "We were trying to put him in actions, and they were doing a good job of hiding him. I felt like if we would've just played instead of looking around, maybe we would've been able to attack, but we were trying to put him in certain actions, and I think that kind of hurt us."

Brown has been vocal this season about wanting the Celtics to play fast and attack opponents in transition -- and with good reason. The 27-year-old ranks third in the NBA in transition points per game (7.7) behind only Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Donovan Mitchell.

Brown thought Boston's tempo slowed Tuesday night, however, as opportunities to attack the basket were replaced with deep attempts.

"I thought we had open looks, and we encourage our guys to take open looks," Brown said. "But I think at times we had some numbers, we had an advantage, and we could've gotten layups and we settled for threes.

"... We got open looks, but I would've liked to see us get to the paint a little bit more."

Threes are still a potent weapon for the Celtics, who are 18-0 this season when they make at least 33 percent of their deep balls. If the C's hit just a few more open shots Tuesday night, they likely would have escaped with a win.

But Boston needs to find out how to win when their shots aren't falling, and Brown believes that starts with cranking up the pace and getting to the basket.

Contact Us