National Basketball Association

Jaylen Brown's Season-Ending Injury Adds To Celtics' Playoff Challenge

May 10

The Boston Celtics were already sitting in a shaky position as the NBA playoffs approached. Now things are sure to be a lot more difficult.

The Celtics received exactly the kind of news you don’t want to hear with the postseason looming when they found out they had lost star guard Jaylen Brown for the rest of the season due to an injury to his left wrist.

Boston is currently in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings (as you can see in the FOX Sports NBA Playoff Tracker), and they’ll likely remain as a play-in team unless they can make up the two-game gap on the No. 6 Miami Heat with four regular-season games remaining.

And without Brown, that hill – as well as any hope of making noise in the playoffs – looks like a much steeper climb.

Brown had missed Boston’s last three games with a sprained ankle that he suffered while crashing into teammate Jayson Tatum near the end of a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on May 2. But according to The Washington Post, he injured his wrist days earlier, in an April 27 loss to Oklahoma City.

Brown still managed to have 39 points, 11 rebounds and four steals in that game, and after the contest said he was "fine."

The Celtics were already struggling down the stretch as the regular season headed toward the finish line, having lost six of their last nine games.

Things figure to get even more difficult without the 24-year-old Brown, who was in the midst of his finest season as a pro.

The 6-6 guard out of California was an All-Star for the first time this season, averaging career-highs in points (24.7), assists (3.4), steals (1.2) and blocks (0.6). He was also reaching new heights as a shooter, setting career-bests from the field (.484), the 3-point line (.397) and the free-throw line (.764).

It’s a difficult blow for a team that had already been deemed a disappointment by some NBA observers.

If the Celtics are to recover from Brown’s injury, they’ll have to get even more from top scorer Tatum as well as guards Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart

Some of the load will also fall on trade-deadline acquisition Evan Fournier, who will probably take Brown’s spot in the starting lineup, according to Celtics reporter Jay King.

"Without him, it’s difficult to envision the Celtics shrugging off their regular-season woes and putting together another deep playoff run," King wrote. "It’s even more difficult to envision them challenging to win a single playoff round. Brown is one of their better shooters, one of their better defenders and one of their most versatile players on both ends of the court. The drop-off from Brown to his replacement will be steep."

Here’s how some around the NBA reacted to the injury.

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