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As many of readers recall, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Scalabrine this past summer, and he was ecstatic about the potential of the Jay-Team, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Scal definitely didn't try to compare Jaylen to Michael Jordan, but he did attribute some Jordan-like qualities to Brown's game.



Jaylen's shooting and overall offensive game have definitely improved significantly as he has become more aggressive. But what has not been quite as apparent is his defensive game, particularly over the past five games. He is quietly becoming the player Scal predicted in my interview (per Brian Scalabrine):

Jaylen (Brown) can be - gosh - I hate using Michael Jordan, because I don't think he can be Michael Jordan -but the way he plays, and moves - and see how he jumps in the air - ever remember when Jordan would jump and and elevate, kind of float, keep the ball high in the air. Jaylen does that a lot. I hate doing that (Jordan comparison) - Jordan - best player ever - he (Jaylen) can be more of his version of Jordan - more catch-and-shoot - he has that defensive mentality - watch the way they both (Jaylen and Jayson Tatum) get in that defensive stance - both those guys (Jay-Team) have a tremendous upside - tremendous - more than anything, it's how hard they work - their mentality - at a young age I look at body and mentality - athleticism - both of those guys have a great head on their shoulders - not good, it's great
.

Yes, as Brian said, Jaylen has the defensive mentality, and he has been using it to lock down opposing stars. The defensive numbers clearly tell the story. Brown is becoming the solid, two-way player many of us thought he would be.


Kevin Durant, James Harden, Eric Gordon and C. J. McCollum are opponents the Celtics may face if they make it to the Finals. Jaylen's defensive job on them bodes well for Boston in the post-season.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC, @CelticsSentinel and Facebook

Photo via Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Tom Lane 3/08/2019 11:56:00 AM Edit
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