Jaylen Brown's sophomore progress shows his value to the Celtics
A great indicator of a player's value is often how much they progress in their second season in the NBA.
Jaylen went from a 17 MPGsubstitute in his rookie year to a 31 MPG starter in his second season in the League. His first-year stats were: 6.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.4 SPG and 0.2 BPG - fairly ordinary numbers with nothing that stood out.
Gordon Hayward's season-ending injury forced Brown and others to step up their game, and they did just that. In the regular season, Jaylen averaged 14.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists per game. And he kept improving as the season progressed, getting more aggressive taking 3-pointers or driving into the paint. He looked like a different player.
The following is not a comparison of players, but rather a look at their first-and-second-year production. The Warriors Klay Thompson was named to the NBA All-Rookie First team in 2012 after averaging 24 MPG, 12.5 PPG, 2.4 RPG and 2.0 APG.
He started all 82 games in his sophomore season, playing 36 MPG and notching 16.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 2.2 APG. Klay is now a two-time NBA Champion, four-time All-Star and Three-Point Champion. He has a good shot at picking up his third Championship ring in a couple of weeks.
Jaylen Brown’s postseason averages:
2016-17: 5.0 PPG, 12.6 MPG, .514 eFG, 21.7 from three.
2017-18: 18.0 PPG, 32.4 MPG, .549 eFG, 39.3 from three.
He got more opportunity, but he prepared for it perfectly.
With the exception of free-throw shooting, Brown has elevated every part of his game and it is very doubtful that he has peaked. Like Jayson Tatum, he needs to work on his ball-handling and both need to increase strength for stronger finishes at the rim. Both were NBA Rising Stars this year and may be All-Stars in the upcoming season, despite playing alongside Kyrie irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford. Imagine five potential All-Stars on one team. Gonna be quite a season!