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Golden Nuggets: Jaylen Brown Is Poised and Prepared, Jabari Bird Still Working With Celtics

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Don’t forget that Cal women’s basketball players are beginning their pro play this week as the WNBA season started.

Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Three Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Pro Basketball

  • Jaylen Brown is “Poised and Prepared” as he has been the clear MVP so far for the Celtics in their 2-1 start against Cleveland. (This article was before the blowout loss by the Cavs last night)

Jaylen Brown built up so much confidence during the regular season, by the time the Playoffs rolled around it was oozing out of every pore on his body.

Using that confidence, the 21-year-old wing has determinedly taken on the roles of both a go-to scorer and a lockdown defender for his underdog Boston Celtics team during its postseason run, and he has succeeded magnificently so far.

Brown has boosted his stats across the board during the Playoffs, averaging 17.8 points per game on 49.5 percent shooting from the field and 42.3 percent from 3-point range. He has embraced the task of matching up against any opposing star, even when being hampered by a hamstring strain. And, he has pushed the Celtics to 10 playoff wins and a commanding 2-0 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Through it all, not once has he been fazed.

  • Jabari Bird remains with the team even though he is ineligible to play in the playoffs. You can probably catch him in Vegas next summer.

Due to his two-way deal, Bird can’t participate in the postseason. If the Celtics had wanted Bird to be available for the playoffs, they could have cut a player, but they opted instead to keep the roster intact.

So Bird went back home to California briefly after the regular season to workout and be around his family. But now, with the Celtics’ body-count comically low in practice and the postseason stretching deep into the Eastern Conference Finals, he’s back with the team, even though he can’t play.

”I wanted to come show support, and also if they need me in practice, compete,” Bird said on Thursday. “Show I belong on this level.”

  • (Athletic Subscription Required) Find out how former Cal great Omar Wilkes has been doing as a basketball agent (spoiler: Very well), and how he’s handled the recent FBI investigation of college basketball agents.
  • Brittany Boyd and Layshia Clarendon begin play in the WNBA. (Unfortunately it looks like Reshanda Gray and Mikayla Cowling didn’t make their respective rosters).

Baseball/Softball

One of the problems with the Thursday/Sunday Golden Nuggets schedule is demonstrated right now. I have a few softball articles, but since their regional started on Friday the articles were mostly posted after I posted Thursday’s GN. And now with their premature exit I can’t post a few articles (like a Rusty Simmons Regional preview article on SF Gate)... but I will post these next two anyway.

  • Whats next for Kobie Pettis? Earlier this season she wrote about her internship for the Baseball/Softball equipment company Easton, and was able to connect and talk with lots of aspiring softball players. She will be a graduate assistant at Grand Canyon next year.
  • Prior to the regional, Lindsay Rood and Zoe Conley were awarded with National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Pacific-Regional selections!
  • Just before the Creighton series Andrew Vaughn was named a semifinalist for the Dick Houser trophy, given to the best collegiate baseball player. He tied Xavier Nady’s single-season home run record in the 9th inning of Cal’s sole win in the series on Saturday.

Misc.

  • (Athletic Subscription Required) Cal football gets some love from The Athletic in their preview of the team. (Like the SB Nation article we shared a while ago, The Athletic is previewing every FBS college football team at the moment).
  • Beach Volleyball academic teams were announced by the Pac-12. Jessica Gaffney made the first team. Mima Mirkovic made the second team. Bryce Bark, Grace Campbell, Iya Lindahl and Madison Dueck were honorable mentions. Congrats!
  • The MPSF announced the academic team for Women’s Water Polo as well. Congrats to Kindred Paul, Dora Antal, Anna Illes, Kacey Avalos, Madison Tagg, Lauren Charter, Emma Wright and Hannah DeRose!
  • Finally, learn about Norway native Marthe Wold and her passion for Norse Mythology. She recently graduated from Cal and is participating in the NCAA Women’s Golf championships this weekend. (I see we took the same Radiohead Decal as well!)

Well, do I smell Jelly donuts? This is my lucky day!