Jaylen Brown speaks on how 2023 NBA Playoffs loss to Miami Heat inspired him to make major change

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Star wing Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics lost to the Miami Heat in seven games in the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals.

Brown had himself a forgettable series against Miami, as he averaged just 19.0 points per game while shooting 41.8 percent from the field and 16.3 percent from behind the 3-point line. Plus, in the deciding Game 7, he struggled. He shot 8-of-23 from the field and committed a whopping eight turnovers in a game the Celtics went on to lose by 19 points.

Recently, Brown spoke on how Boston’s loss to the Heat in the 2023 playoffs inspired him to make a major change.

“It just inspired growth,” Brown told The Athletic. “It just inspired me to work hard. I probably worked the hardest I’ve ever worked this summer. My body’s changed. Athletically, I feel like I’m entering my prime, at peak athleticism. I’m running, I’m jumping, I’m defending. I’m guarding my ass off. I’m in the right spots. I’m more aware on defense. I’m more aware on offense. It just inspired me. Inspiration to improve is what it was. That’s how bad it stung to come up short the way we did, but I wouldn’t take anything back. Everything is for a reason…a part of being a human being is just learning and growing. And that’s how I approach everything in life.”

Brown then went on to say how he believes he is more aware of what is going on on the court.

“It starts in practice, every day with the reads,” he said. “Just a heightened awareness of always trying to read the game, always trying to read what’s in front of you. Just being a student of the game.”

The 27-year-old has cut down on his turnovers so far during the 2023-24 regular season. He is averaging 2.5 turnovers per game, which is his lowest average since the 2019-20 season.

Also, across 19 appearances with the Celtics, he is averaging 22.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 45.9 percent from the floor and 33.8 percent from 3-point range.

From a collective standpoint, the Celtics have arguably been the best team in the NBA this season. The team owns an excellent 15-5 record, which is the best record in the Eastern Conference and second-best record in the league behind only the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are 16-4.

Brown and the Celtics lost their most recent game against Tyrese Haliburton and the Indiana Pacers back on Dec. 4, however. The wing dropped 30 points and nine rebounds while shooting an efficient 14-of-23 from the field, but Boston still came up short.

Haliburton finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists for the Pacers in 40 minutes of playing time. Additionally, he knocked down five 3-pointers.

The Celtics will have a chance to return to their winning ways when they take on Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle and the New York Knicks on Friday. The Knicks own a 12-8 record on the season — the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference right now — and are fresh off a loss to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard and the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 5.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.