Celtics head coach Ime Udoka isn’t mincing words with Jaylen Brown. He said after Wednesday night’s loss to the Washington Wizards that Brown’s effort hasn’t been there as consistently as it needs to be, and he reiterated those remarks on Thursday with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand. You can listen above for the full interview.
Brown scored only 13 points in the Celtics’ 116-107 loss to Washington, shooting 31.3 percent from the floor. Udoka said after the game that he didn’t see the level of focus he wanted to see during the pregame shoot-around, and he felt that lack of focus spilled over to the game, particularly for Brown.
What does Brown need to do in order to play his best basketball more consistently?
“Just overall, bringing the effort that he demands of himself, that the team relies on him to bring,” Udoka said. “Jaylen’s one of the best players in the league, and he holds himself to a high standard, as well as myself and the rest of the team. He knows when he’s not playing up to his capabilities, and we talked about that before the game, after the game, and throughout the year it’s something we’ll keep touching on.”
Udoka also put some blame on himself for not putting Brown in a better position to succeed. But he isn’t backing down from calling out Brown’s overall effort and focus, along with the rest of the team.
“As far as Jaylen, something I have to do a better job of [is] getting him involved and getting him to certain places on the floor,” Udoka said. “But at the same time, like I said, he knows when he’s not playing up to his level, and Jaylen’s a very smart young man, and he knows what he has to bring every night and how much his team relies on him.”
Udoka told Zolak & Bertrand that he noticed a drop-off in effort and focus from the Celtics’ comeback win over the Charlotte Hornets, in which Brown scored 30 points with nine rebounds. The head coach reflected on that win, and also spoke about Al Horford’s performance in the losing effort to the Wizards.
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