Jay-Team, Smart & Horford gain major ground in ESPN Real Plus/Minus

In the last four days, Jaylen Brown has gained tremendous ground in ESPN's Real Plus/Minus rankings. He went from the 370th slot to 254th, a rise of 116 spots. This is a clear sign his game is coming around. Marcus Smart was at #22 only four days ago in ESPN's Real Plus/Minus rankings, and he now sits at #18. He is ahead of Marc Gasol (19), Damien Lillard (20), Joel Embiid (21), Jimmy Butler (26), Kawhi Leonard (28), Russell Westbrook (29), Chris Paul (30) and Victor Oladipo(32).

Smart's shooting woes are declining, but he still has the occasional dud. These numbers indicate that he presents undeniable value when he is the floor, regardless of who is out there with him. As my readers know, I am a fan of ESPN's Real Plus/Minus. Jaylen's rise to #254 and Smart's position at #18 are noteworthy.

Kyrie Irving remained in 5th place, while Al Horford (46th) moved up four slots - Marcus Morris (78th) gained two spots - and Jayson Tatum (93) gained seven digits from the 100th slot. These rankings rose after two winning contests against Indiana and Brooklyn.

Numbers have tremendous value if they are valid. They often break down our perceptions into reality. Is Jaylen improving? You bet! Is Smart as valuable as Danny Ainge perceives? I think so! The numbers say so.

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