Jaylen Brown will miss tomorrow night’s contest against the Memphis Grizzlies, the team announced, after his ankle injury against the Hawks kept him out of the game after the first 3 minutes of action.
#NEBHInjuryReport vs. Memphis:— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 2, 2022
Jaylen Brown (right ankle sprain) - OUT
Brown twisted his ankle on a hard drive down the lane early in the first quarter, turning his ankle while trying to split two defenders. At first, it wasn’t exactly clear what he injured since he grabbed at his hamstring and it was a non-contact injury. Thankfully, it was just a right ankle sprain. After the game, Ime Udoka noted that Brown wanted to re-enter the game. Between that and the fact that Brown walked back to the locker room under his own power, it’s clear that Celtics fans can breathe a slight sigh of relief.
On the negative side, Brown won’t be able to suit up in an important game against one of the best teams in the league. After smart drafting several years in a row, the Memphis Grizzlies are the third-best team in the Western Conference standings behind Ja Morant’s brilliance and significant contributions from young players up and down the roster. Playing Memphis’ energy and up-tempo style will be a big test for the Celtics’ dominant defense.
Replacing Jaylen Brown will likely be Aaron Nesmith, who started in favor of Brown at the beginning of the third quarter. While Derrick White is the better player, Udoka might lean toward familiarity in the rotation at least a little while Brown remains out. Nesmith didn’t score, but he provided energy and hustle en route to Boston’s defensive master class in the second half.
Derrick White also contributed mightily with 18 points off the bench to go with his usual defensive excellence. He’ll be a big part of replacing Brown’s production, and the trade at the deadline was born for situations like this to make sure Boston won’t be left out in the cold if Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum ever need time off.
After the Grizzlies game, the final Brooklyn Nets game of the season comes on Sunday. While Ben Simmons won’t be ready to suit up for this one (or March 10th against Philly, it seems), the Celtics will still have to contend with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in a home game in Boston. Hopefully, with four days of rest in between, Jaylen Brown will be ready for a contest that will surely contribute to the playoff standings with 38 days left in the regular season.