Yes, I know it has only been two regular season games, but Jaylen Brown is getting our attention. Since his arrival in Boston, I have viewed Jaylen as as a very intelligent young man with mental intensity and incredible athleticism. His physique is different. He is all arms and legs and weighs more than his appearance would suggest. I always saw that with Kevin Garnett (the weight part), and that indicates a lean, solid, muscular build.
His average, regular-season numbers thus far show 34.0 MPG, 21.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.5 TPG and 5.5 FPG. He is the leading scorer for the Celts, and I never expected that. He is shooting 50% from the field, 33.3% on three pointers and 71.4% from the free throw line. He was determined to make a major impact this season, and now with Gordon Hayward out, that determination might really take flight. Jaylen was not rated highly in any NBA or fantasy polls that I saw. That may change soon.
How far can he go this season and beyond? Brown averaged only 17.2 minutes last season. That should double this season unless the roster changes significantly or his contributions take a hit. He is well poised to have a breakout year. He certainly will have the opportunity. His 5.5 fouls per game needs to be addressed. More experience will help with that. Jaylen won't be going for pump fakes quite as readily. His very good defense should become great.
He needs to control his athleticism. His leaping ability and long reach lead to missed dunks on offense and fouls on defense. I think we have to realize that he played limited minutes in his rookie season. Players don't acquire a high basketball IQ by simply watching the game. They need the experience. That will happen this season.
So the question is whether Jaylen can become an All Star. With the apparent season-ending injury to Gordon Hayward, the timing seems right for it. Brad Stevens will bring out the best in him. He will pick up the minutes and keep improving throughout the season. He should gain more playoff experience since I still expect the Celts to be in the fight this season. When Brown hits his prime within the next few years, he has a great chance to play in the NBA All-Star game. Jayson Tatum may very well be there with him.
To all NBA writers currently working on IT-Hayward karma thinkpieces:
To digress slightly, except for a few glitches along the way, I admit to being an avid Celtics fan since the early 60's. Red Auerbach took a beating from many rivals, and I don't mean on the basketball court. Jealousy was the fuel for the abuse. The man and his team, led by Bill Russell, was solid class. The current Celtics organization follows suit. Danny Ainge is a basketball mastermind and his coach, Brad Stevens, is a treasure. They bring in players, like the Jay-Team, that are intelligent, talented and of high character.
The Celtics organization is still the subject of written and verbal abuse by opponents and their fans. The abuse is still fueled by jealousy. That is the reason for the tweet above by fellow CelticsLife writer, Justin Quinn. He usually writes with what I call intellectual playfulness. He got a bit serious on the tweet. I believe he meant it to be so.
Gordon Hayward will return, next season at the latest, and join the veterans and the youngsters that will have another season under their belts. As I have stated before, that was always Danny's timeline anyway. Try to win big this season and really push for it all next season. Next year may also be Jaylen Brown's first All Star appearance if he keeps progressing at the current rate. Just don't go for the fakes, Jaylen, and maybe don't fly so high on the dunks. Boy, can he get up there!