Jaylen Brown insists Celtics listen to Brad Stevens, but lack ‘mental focus’

Brown insists C’s listen to Stevens, but lack ‘mental focus’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Kendrick Perkins raised some eyebrows Tuesday night on Celtics Postgame Live when he wondered if head coach Brad Stevens had “lost” Boston’s locker room and wasn’t getting his message across to the players.

After Wednesday night’s lifeless loss to the Hawks in Atlanta, All-Star guard Jaylen Brown refuted the notion that the Celtics are tuning Stevens out. But Brown does have an issue with his team’s mindset.

“We’ve just got to do it. We listen to (Stevens),” Brown said in a postgame videoconference, as seen in the video above. “Obviously game to game things change, but you’ve got to execute each and every night, and I think it’s been a challenge for this group to go from game to game with no time in between and execute the game plans.

“I can tell whatever the mental focus is, it’s not there. It’s not enough. It’s almost as if, it’s like — I don’t know. But it just isn’t there. We’ve just got to be better game to game and have the right enthusiasm and right mentality for each game, which is tough. But we’ve got to be able to do it.”

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The C’s were on the second night of a back-to-back and the final game of a three-game road trip, so fatigue could be a factor. But that’s still no excuse for Boston’s atrocious effort Wednesday night. The Celtics offered little resistance as the Hawks hit 23 3-pointers — the most Boston has ever allowed in a game — and Danilo Gallinari made 10 of 12 from deep (an Atlanta franchise record).

The Celtics’ starters, meanwhile, hit just one 3-pointer in the 127-112 loss, while Brown and Jayson Tatum shot a combined 10 for 36 from the floor. Oh, and the Hawks also were on the second night of a back-to-back, having lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers at the buzzer the night before.

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It’s obvious the C’s need to play with more effort and focus than they have over the past 21 games, of which they’ve lost 14. And while Stevens has never been the fiery type, he hinted after Wednesday’s loss that he’s getting his message across.

“What I say to you and everyone else is not what I say in the locker room necessarily,” Stevens said in his videoconference. “How you say it is very important, and I’ll have my moments, let’s put it that way. This team right now is balancing playing unconfidently and unsure with the fact we’ve had a couple slip away.”

Boston has four games before the All-Star break to improve a 15-17 record that has the team ninth in the Eastern Conference as of Thursday. At the very least, Stevens will look for improved effort Friday against the Indiana Pacers, while his players will try to put their words into actions.

“I think we have to take some accountability,” Tatum said after the game. “I have to take accountability as one of the leaders and being that guy. I have to be better, I have to be more vocal, I have to try to be the example.” 

Published: 2021-02-25 13:35:49

Tags: #Jaylen #Brown #insists #Celtics #listen #Brad #Stevens #lack #mental #focus

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