• Matt Esposito

One Jaylen Brown Stat Everyone Must See

I promise, just one.

Jaylen Brown has been a revelation this year for the Celtics. For three seasons Celtic supporters were stuck in fandom purgatory with him. Brown would stay silent for days and then explode for 30 point night full of dunks, pull-up triples and confident drives to the rim. It seemed as though the odds of him reaching his potential were just as high as the odds of him never fulfilling it.

But Brown has lifted all of those fans out of purgatory and into paradise. The most critical of his flaws seemed to have been remedied. Brown has learned how to take advantage of his physical gifts and is finally finishing at the rim at an acceptable rate. His handle still needs work but is much improved. His 3-point shot looks for real.

Additionally, Brown is playing the game with more feel than ever. He sniffs out opportunities to blow by defenders with his agility. When the time calls for it, he uses his strength to bully opponents into surrendering an easy look. When the rim is well protected, he will kick it out to corner shooters.

So, how does this show up in the stat sheet and which particular statistic has me all hot and bothered? Using a tool on basketball-reference.com, I was able to ascertain how many players have checked off the following boxes in a single season.

- at least 37 percent from 3

- at least five 3-point attempts per game

- at least 57 percent on 2-pointers

- at least 10 field goal attempts per game

As of now, Brown is in some elite company. Specifically, this list boasts three total MVP awards and 16 All-NBA selections. Am I projecting Brown to be a future MVP or even an All-NBA player? Not quite. This list serves a different purpose, however.

Brown's ceiling must be recalibrated. The film and numbers support this. There will come a day when the star wing increases his field goal attempts per game to a number similar to those on this list. If he can maintain his efficiency then perhaps we should reassess his career trajectory.

How can Brown keep these numbers at their current rate? He must continue to rely on his natural gifts. In particular, he needs to deploy his strength and agility combination when the right opportunities arise. This clip below is a nice example.

The work Brown put into his 3-point stroke paid off. It is the reason Domantas Sabonis has to close out and fall for a fake. Then, Brown drives the lane and splits two defenders before athletically twisting his way into a layup.

He is figuring out how to maximize his strength as well. Watch Brown push around Justin Jackson to get a shot attempt from within three feet.

More impressively, Brown has developed his feel for the game. Something has "clicked" concerning his approach on offense. Everything looks slower for Brown. An example can be seen in the clip below. Watch him confidently take his time to bump off Jalen Brunson before realizing he can simply shoot over the smaller player.

There has never been any questions about Brown's work ethic. His jumper is the result of thousands of reps and is here to stay. What's more, Brown has weaponized his jumper to fake out defenders and open up driving lanes. But what can he do to actualize this new ceiling?

Jaylen must continue to work on his separation moves. Although his off the bounce game has tightened up, there is still work to be done. But with a legitimate 3-point stroke and solid touch around the rim, creating from the dribble could be the skill that pushes Brown into that next tier of stardom.

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