This is a lot to ask of a second-year player, but Jaylen Brown needs to take on a good part of the load tonight in Game Seven of the Milwaukee series. He needs some of that give-me-the-ball mentality. It is the one quality that separates the superstars from the solid NBA players. Former Celtics Sam Jones, JoJo White, Larry Bird and Paul Pierce had it. Larry at critical times virtually demanded the ball.

This is far from saying Jaylen has not played well thus far in the first six games. He has been a bright light for the team. He is averaging 38 minutes, 20.5 points on 48% from the field and 40% on three-pointers, along with five rebounds and 1.5 assists. His plus/minus for the six games is +6.2. Good numbers across the board. Realizing that Brad Stevens looks for a team effort with a lot of sharing and ball movement, Brown simply needs to get aggressive.

His production has fallen off somewhat in the last two games. In those contests, he has averaged 14.0 PPG on 39% field-goal shooting and 29% on three-pointers. His plus/minus for the two games dropped to +1.5. We have yet to see the best of Brown. All season he has looked like a star ready to break loose. But at times he has seen tentative and unsure.

That won't work tonight. It is win or go home. I see Jaylen and Al Horford as the two teammates that need to push the attack. It is not as though Brown has to put the team on his back and carry them to a win. He has ample help, including the thousands of Boston fans in attendance at the game.

Jaylen did not come into the League with the reputation as a shooter. But he is one now. He can hit from anywhere on the court. I will add one more thought to this piece. Brown has aspirations apart from basketball, but stardom in the NBA can be the clear pathway to many worthwhile endeavors. It can pave the way for him. I see tonight as a golden opportunity for him. Win the game and you win the crowd. Win the crowd and they will love you, particularly in Boston. Tonight is important for Jaylen.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Michael Reeves/Getty Images North America

Tom Lane 4/28/2018 02:02:00 PM Edit
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