DAR Sports: The Growth Of Jaylen Brown

By Jeff Axel

Jaylen Brown is one of the leading candidates for most improved player this season, in my opinion. If the Celtics had a better record, I could even see him being in MVP talks alongside Jayson Tatum (at least in that top 10 tracker). Averaging 26.7 PPG, 5.6 RPG and 3.4 APG, Jaylen has taken a leap into borderline All NBA level play this season. We saw flashes of his All-Star potential in the Eastern Conference Finals run of 2018 where he lead the team in scoring while averaging 20 points in a postseason where the Celtics came up 1 quarter short of the NBA finals. 

Jaylen has handled adversity well especially coming off the bench for Hayward the following season. The fit of that team was so problematic that Jaylen averaged took a fall from the season before and people began to think that he regressed. After that season, Jaylen continued to work on his game to get even better. The first sign of his All Star level play was the 2019-20 season. With multiple veterans leaving, that would free up more shots for Jaylen and play to his strengths of playing in the open court. Brown improved his production across the board, looking like a future star at times on the court. From 13.0 PPG to 20.3 PPG and from 4.2 RPG to 6.4 RPG. He shot 38% 3PT after his 3 point shooting had been considered a weakness when he was drafted. He also turned himself into a player that could defend from the point guard position all the way to the power forward effectively. 

Initially, Brad Stevens would take Jaylen off the court for missed defensive rotations. That is a thing of the past. This current 2020-21 season, Jaylen has elevated his game to another level. He’s shooting a career high 52% FG, 42% from 3, and 77% from the free throw line while utilizing the mid range game and finishing with either hand in traffic at a high clip. What has turned this production around? The freedom of not sharing as many shots with Gordon Hayward has likely played a part. Not to mention, Jaylen Brown has been adding multiple elements to his game and working out with Tracy McGrady for the past 2 seasons. Working out with one of the best scorers of the last 20 years and implementing those moves into your game can definitely take things to another level. Jaylen has improved his ball handling, footwork and play making which has seemingly made a difference considering his career high 4 assists per game. He always had a quick first step, but now he plays more under control. He gathers himself instead of lunging into players hoping for a foul and he can finish with finesse or power with either hand.

Jaylen went from raw rookie, to promising leader of a future duo, back to the bench as a spark plug for a crowded team to a 3rd option 20 point scorer. Now he’s a two way player in the top 10 in the league in scoring. In the 5 games that Jayson Tatum missed, Jaylen averaged 29.4 PPG as the lone focus of the Celtics offense. Even though Tatum and Brown play well together, that stint proved that Brown can create his own offense consistently. Through hard work Jaylen Brown has shown why Danny Ainge didn’t want to trade him in packages for other players and at 24 years old, Jaylen is proving that he’s on an upward trajectory towards multiple All Star appearances.

Jaylen had a game where he ended up scoring 42 points with 7 three pointers made in just 3 quarters. Heading into the draft he was considered a poor shooter so his career high 42% from 3 on 6 attempts per game is refreshing to see. Jaylen had another efficient 42 point game against one of the elite teams in the league as well, showing consistency. He’s become  very comfortable scoring on all 3 levels as mentioned earlier. Scoring in transition, attacking and keeping his foot on the pedal has been Jaylen’s approach all season. Scoring 33 points in 19 total minutes played is ridiculous and just shows how focused and sharp Jaylen has been this season. Jaylen's going to be a Celtic for a long time and his growth will be what catapults them even higher going forward. 



Popular Posts