BOSTON -- Celtics guard Jaylen Brownsat out Monday's 117-101 Game 1 win over the Philadelphia 76ers as he continues to battle a right hamstring strain suffered in Boston's Game 7 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Brown felt better Monday and tried to lobby team trainers to let him play but the team decided to err on the side of caution.
Marcus Smartstarted in Brown's place. The Celtics have reinserted Aron Baynes into the starting lineup, where he shared the frontcourt with Al Horford.
Boston went small in Games 5-7 against the Bucks, utilizing rookie Semi Ojeleye as a starter. The Celtics went big at the start against Philadelphia's frontcourt featuring Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
Stevens noted how Brown was on the phone with team doctors about two hours before tipoff trying to talk his way into playing. Stevens said then that Brown remained doubtful. Brown was in Boston's locker room with a trainer before Monday's game and had said he was uncertain if he'd play.
"[Brown] went through stuff this morning, though they cut him short from going through the whole workout," said Stevens. "He feels a lot better because he's anxious to play, so that's part of the discussion."
There are two days off before Thursday's Game 2 in Boston.
Celtics' Jaylen Brown doesn't play in Game 1 vs. 76ers
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