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Brad Stevens “anticipates” that Jaylen Brown will miss Friday’s game vs Cleveland

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Marcus Morris guesses that the Celtics will stick with their starting five from Monday’s win.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

BRIGHTON - Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said on Thursday that he anticipates Jaylen Brown to miss Friday’s matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Brown was not available in Boston’s Monday night win against New Orleans and has not practiced this week due to the lower back injury.

Despite missing their 22-year-old wing, Stevens said that he was encouraged by the team’s last two practices, adding that he was able to cut Thursday’s session short. “I was really encouraged by both days,” said Stevens. “I thought that our purpose and our focus in a lighter day, where you’re not taped today, we were able to cut it short a little bit. If you're progressing the right way, your practices should get a little bit better. Your intensity, or at least your focus should get better. So I’m encouraged by the last two days. We’ll see how the next couple go.”

Much of the focus surrounding the Celtics over the past few days has been around the team’s starting lineup. After Monday’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans, it seemed as though Stevens may have found a formula for Boston’s starting five with the insertions of Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart. With Brown most likely out on Friday, Morris feels they’ll stick with the same unit.

“I’m not going to say it like I’m the coach, but we’re going to keep, I’m guessing, that unit to see how it goes. With the guys out there, and the guy who are starting off, the communication out there is at the highest level since I’ve been here.” Time will tell if Brad Stevens does in fact stick with the same starting five on Friday, but it sounds like we may be heading in that direction.

The Celtics and Cavaliers tip off on Friday night from TD Garden at 7:00 PM EST.

Check out everything Stevens and Morris had to say following Thursday’s practice at the Auerbach Center: