"OK. S***, this ain't Miami", the Celtics forward responded.
He ended up suiting up and giving the Celtics a huge boost. The Celtics regained their composure to make it 13-12 with five minutes remaining in the first quarter, off a pair of free throws by Rozier.
"The question of whether you could have used a timeout in the last part of that second period, you could have", Brown said after Friday's practice. Joel Embiid scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds securing a first half double-double. "But I think that the confidence I have in that group has been earned and is not something we sort of construct in our mind". "It was all on me, but you manage it right, be smart with it, I don't expect to miss any games". Trying to, on the road, make sure you have an ample number of timeouts, you know it's going to be a close game. I honestly don't know. They just looked me in the eye and they were back and forth and unsure, and I was like hey, I'm playing, that's it. We're staying together as a team. It is a long game. We were playing really well and had a big lead but there was still 31 minutes left to play or whatever it was when we were up by 20. Without me they had to find a way to score.
The Celtics simply made the most important plays down the stretch to survive Philadelphia's attempt to steal home-court advantage. But, otherwise, just a hard fought basketball game. This is the league of the best players in the world.
The Celtics do not make almost as many mistakes chasing guys off-ball as the Heat did. "They definitely punched us in the mouth at the beginning of the game". I think the way Boston is guarding us in general is something that I respect. "There's a physicality and switch-ability that they got apples for apples on many, many different matchups". However, when taking all of the key factors into consideration behind this tough loss for the Sixers, nothing sticks out more than the poor outing by Simmons since he failed to come through when his teammates needed him the most.
The Celtics did a great job defending him. "And I am coming back to Ben Simmons". He made both foul shots with 3.4 seconds left to give Boston a five-point victory.
After the game, he said the doctors didn't quite think he was ready to play, but he went against their wishes and played anyways.
"Man, I've never seen TD Garden like it was tonight", Brown said.
But as a Sixers fan, I've been disappointed so far with the way Philadelphia has been outplayed and outcoached as Boston won the first two games of the series. Physically, the Heat were on another level. Personally, my own game. Ben is very mature, very poised.