Jaylen Brown wins Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP award as Celtics return to NBA Finals

                        Jaylen Brown wins Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP award as Celtics return to NBA Finals
By: CBS Sports Posted On: May 28, 2024 View: 63

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Jaylen Brown has been named the 2024 Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP after his Boston Celtics completed their sweep of the Indiana Pacers on Monday with a 105-102 victory. Brown was the focal point of that victory, scoring 29 points in Boston's comeback, and he led the Celtics in the series by averaging 29.75 points per game. Still, it wasn't the overall stats that clinched this award for Brown, but his biggest moments.

With less than 10 seconds left in Game 1 and the Celtics trailing by three, Boston needed a triple to tie the game. Jrue Holiday looked for Brown, who had Pascal Siakam on his tail. He fired up from the corner and tied the game, eventually sending it to overtime where the Celtics won.

At the end of Game 4, Brown beat the Pacers as a passer. With the score tied at 102 with less than 50 seconds left Brown attacked the basket to try to give the Celtics the lead. He found a crowded lane, so he kicked the ball out to Derrick White who gave Boston the lead at 105-102. They would never surrender it.

The Eastern Conference Finals, in the past, have been somewhat difficult for Brown. The Celtics faced the Miami Heat in their last three trips there, and in the last two occasions, Brown struggled in some meaningful way. He shot just 16.3% from deep in last year's loss to Miami. When the Celtics won the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals, the 20 turnovers Brown committed in the final five games became a major talking point. 

Jayson Tatum won the Larry Bird Trophy when Boston reached the NBA Finals in 2022. This time, it's Brown's turn. The voting was close. Brown earned five of the nine votes while Tatum pulled in four. You could easily argue that Jrue Holiday, who played spectacularly on both ends of the floor in the series, also merited consideration.

That is the nature of this Celtics team. Boston directly opposes the heliocentric style of their likely Finals opponent, the Dallas Mavericks. This is a team built on the idea that any of their five starters can beat you. The Celtics got to the Finals with key big man Kristaps Porzingis sidelined. Their top-end depth is their superpower. This series belonged to Brown. The Finals could belong to anyone.

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