Upgraded from doubtful on Thursday morning, to probable that night, the Celtics Jaylen Brown went against the medical staff's recommendation that he not play.
The risk was high that he could further aggravate his already strained hamstring and make things worse but he was willing to take the risk and insisted that he play. Less than 24 hours after the Celtics' Game 2 victory over the 76ers, Brown was admittedly paying for his risky decision.
"It's a little sore," he said after the Celtics practiced at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday. "I'm getting some treatment, we'll see how I feel tomorrow…You can't really prepare for playoff level intensity on it. You can't really simulate that when you're trying to get ready for a game. "
While there were moments when adrenaline was pumping and Brown said he didn't feel anything, there were also moments during Game 2 when he held back, realizing his limitations, and couldn't quite explode off a dribble like he normally would.
Despite the limitations and minutes restriction he was on, Brown managed to come away with 13 points off the bench as the Celtics took a 2-0 lead in the series.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said that right now the positive news is that there is no tear. Care, caution, and being smart about a game plan are the priorities moving forward.
Boston's 108-103 victory, after being down by as many as 22 points in the second quarter, felt good in the moment. But during a film session on Friday, Stevens pointed out the many areas where his team struggled against the Sixers, especially in the first half.
"I think we all know if we start the game like that tomorrow we're in trouble," Stevens said. "I just thought there were a lot of things that we didn't do well…I thought we dodged some bullets."
After the session his team agreed on all fronts.
"We've got to play a lot better in Game 3," Brown said. "We can't expect to get down 20 points on their home floor and come back to win."
Now that the series is back in Philly, the Celtics know that things could swing very easily.
In the first round the Celtics went up 2-0 against the Bucks before the series turned to Milwaukee. The Bucks protected home court, evening the series and again winning in Milwaukee in Game 6. The Bucks eventually lost in a Game 7 showdown in Boston.