It seems like every single game the Boston Celtics have played throughout the 2022 NBA Playoffs has been unique in its own way. Sometimes, it’s their defense that wins them games. Sometimes, their offense gets hot, just as they did in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
For all the different ways Boston has played, there is one thing that has been consistent for them throughout their playoff run, and that’s that Jaylen Brown has been an absolute force of nature in the fourth quarter of every single playoff game for the C’s so far. No matter how good or bad Brown has been throughout the prior three quarters, you can always count on him to show up in the fourth quarter.
Brown’s fourth-quarter stats throughout the playoffs are unbelievably good
Throughout the 2022 NBA Playoffs, Brown has been the best fourth-quarter player in the entire league. He leads all players in fourth-quarter scoring, but it’s not as if he is shooting at will and hoping for the best. He’s shooting 66.7 percent from the field in the fourth quarter, including a white-hot 64.5 percent from behind the arc. Those are unreal shooting splits.
What’s even more impressive is that this happens pretty much every game. Even on nights where Brown looks unplayable through the first three quarters (take Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat, for example), he shows up for the final 12 minutes of the game without fail, regardless of his own play or the circumstances of the game.
Brown’s clutch scoring has been invaluable for the Celtics’ offense
One of the key points coming into this series was that the discrepancy between the Celtics and Warriors clutch time offense was huge. Brown has been Boston’s best scorer in the fourth and clutch time, and he has helped guide the C’s to wins late in the fourth on a couple of occasions throughout the playoffs.
Game 1 last night showed just how valuable Brown is to Boston. Jayson Tatum was laboring through a 3-17 shooting performance, so Brown stepped up and took control. He scored his 10 points in the fourth right out of the gate, forcing Golden State to adjust. When they gave Brown more attention, he began finding his open teammates, and he picked up all five of his assists in the final frame.
For most of the playoffs, Brown has looked confused and out of control with his dribbling. He labors through games where he takes wildly contested shots or turns the ball over seemingly every time he touches it.
But once the game hits the fourth quarter, Brown is an entirely different player. His ability to up his game in crunch time has been tremendous, and his fourth-quarter stats show just how dominant he has been throughout the playoffs. If Brown can keep this up in the Finals, Boston could find themselves hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy before you know it.