Celtics' Brown says last season's struggles 'brought a lot of anxiety'
Logan Riely / National Basketball Association / Getty

Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown has shown early signs of a breakout campaign in 2019-20, as he's benefitted from having a more clearly defined role.

Brown only started 25 of the 74 games he played in 2018-19 after losing his starting gig less than two months into the season. He finished the year playing 25.9 minutes per game, tied with Gordon Hayward for sixth-most on the team.

The 23-year-old forward admits that losing his starting job, as well as dealing with last season's dysfunction, put him in an uncomfortable, unfamiliar situation.

“I was really tested,” Brown said when reflecting on last season's struggles, according to The Athletic's Jay King. “My confidence had never been challenged in that manner. Last year brought a lot of anxiety and stuff like that. I’d never been challenged to that degree so I had to respond.”

And respond he has.

Brown is averaging 20.1 points per game in the seven contests he's appeared in for the East-leading C's. He ranks second on the team in scoring behind Kemba Walker.

Aside from dealing with less of a logjam in front of him in the rotation this season, Brown acknowledged one tangible change he made that helped his mental state: chopping off some hair before training camp.

"When my hair was gone, my care was gone. That was a part of the reason why I cut my hair, just to let all of that go," Brown added.

The No. 3 pick in the 2016 draft has the opportunity to establish an even more substantial role in Boston's offense with Hayward on the shelf for the next six weeks rehabbing a fracture in his left hand.

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Celtics' Brown says last season's struggles 'brought a lot of anxiety'
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