Jaylen Brown's productive starting turn showing long term promise
In a very small three-game sample size, Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown has exhibited positive strides since being put into the starting lineup by coach Brad Stevens. Brown was penciled into the starting unit after the Celts lost three-straight games last week, including an embarrassing defeat in Washington where the green were punked by Bradley Beal and the Wizards.
After an uninspiring two points in 13 minutes against the Rockets Wednesday, Brown has shown in the last two contests what the C's fans hope to expect in the future from the third overall selection in the last years' draft.
Against a bad Orlando Magic team on Friday, the 20-year-old notched 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting logging a career-high 30 minutes of action. Brown added eight rebounds and was 6-of-8 from the charity stripe, knocking down 2-of-5 from deep while showing his trademark hustle:
Brown did miss a few shots in the paint against the Magic that he needs to make, but for a team that relies far too much on the three-pointer it's refreshing to see Brown's ability to get to the rim, make or miss.
In Saturday's overtime win against Milwaukee, Brown scored nine points while grabbing eight boards. Scoring in single digits doesn't really jump off the stat sheet but the rookie added five big points in the fourth to help the Celts tread water, eventually pulling away in overtime.
Brown, who was blocked earlier in the second half by Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo on a dunk attempt, showed no fear in the closing minutes when he drove to the hoop against the Greek Freak:
The biggest shot of the night for 6'7" swingman came with 2:50 left in the fourth quarter with the Celtics up 99-97. After missing his first two attempts from deep in the game, Brown nailed a huge three-pointer to give the Celtics some breathing room:
Brown's confident shooting stroke, and willingness to take the corner three shows how little he is rattled by the moment. That aspect is something that stands out in Brown's game. He may not always make the right play, and can look lost on defense, but he never seems overwhelmed by the big stage. Stevens is clearly a believer in his rook:
Stevens on Jaylen Brown's shooting: "I've believed in him from Day 1. He's going to be a good shooter because he puts in a lot of work."— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 29, 2017
With Avery Bradley close to returning, it will be interesting to see if Stevens continues to call Brown's number once the C's are fully healthy. Brown could be a vital piece to the rotation once the playoffs roll around, but will need to get consistent playing time before the calendar turns to April and May.
Follow Rob Welch on Twitter @CelticWelch
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