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The Celtics 2017-18 regular season is now 72% complete, and we have been able to get a good look at all of the players except Greg Monroe. This is about Jaylen Brown - where he's been - and where we hope he is going. Here is DraftExpress' Matt Kamalsky with pre-draft analysis on Jaylen:

Looking far more comfortable on the offensive end some nights than others, Brown clearly has untapped potential as a scorer. If he can clean up his mechanical issues as a shooter and ball-handler, he could look like an entirely different player on this end a few short years from now. Not turning 20 until October, a key element of Brown's appeal at the moment is what he could become on this end after some grooming at the NBA level.

Brown measured 6'6.5" in height with a 7'0.5" wingspan and weighing 222 pounds. Visually, I would have guessed his weight in the 205-210 range, often an indicator of an athletic physique. Kamalsky mentions the two major concerns about Brown's play, namely "mechanical issues as a shooter and ball-handler".

USAToday's Greg Cassoli cited four major obectives for Jaylen going forward, and the blockquotes are all his.

1. Become an above-average three-point shooter: You’re showing a little bit of that swagger for a pull-up three out of a dribble move, but that is an area where you still need to grow. We’d love to see if you can sustain this rate (37.8% on three-point attempts) on even more than the 4.6 three-point attempts your launching per night, but we’re very happy with how effective you’ve been from beyond the arc thus far.

2. Be a dominant defender: Your blend of balance, quickness and smart decision making has been truly impressive to witness. Occasionally you fall asleep off the ball and still bite on pump fakes a little more often than is ideal. ... we believe you have the capacity to be one of the best defensive players in all of basketball and we’re going to push you to pursue perfection.


3. Improve your handle: We want you to focus on attacking in transition. You went from seeing the ball bounce off your left hand doing crossovers on a regular basis to knocking those turnovers down. It’s gone from disastrous to just average.

4. Grow as a facilitator: I’m going to be honest with you here, you still have plenty of room for growth in this domain. ... your athleticism warps opposing defenses. We’re particularly interested in how you can develop as a passer while attacking the hoop. Being able to blow by your defender and finish at the rim are valuable skills, but if you want to unlock your fullest potential, you’ll need to improve your ability to create offense for others, and not just yourself.

I found Cassoli's insight to be excellent. Jaylen's three-point shooting keeps improving, but hitting them off the dribble is where the attention needs to be. On defense, Brown does seem to "fall asleep off the ball" as though his mind is elsewhere, but that is an easy fix. His defensive abilities have never been questioned.

Hopefully, Brown's ball-handling and passing will keep improving. Attacking the paint and either finishing or distributing should be important goals. Early in Jaylen's career, I had written that he needed to control his athleticism, but maybe with a season-and-a-half under his belt, it is time to unleash it. He does seem tentative on offense at times as though he is thinking too much and not reacting to the situation.

DraftExpress stressed Brown's "untapped potential as a scorer". He clearly has the tools to become one of the best two-way players in the NBA. The remaining 23 regular-season games should reveal even more improvement in Jaylen's game

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Michael Reaves/Getty Images North America




Tom Lane 2/20/2018 07:38:00 AM Edit
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