Over the last month we have seen the rise of Celtic rookie Jaylen Brown. Just last night it was cultivated by his and 1 corner three in the final minute to give the Celtics the lead. Jaylen Brown has arrived and he is legit. While the jury is still out on all of the draft picks from last summer it appears as if Brown has the potential to be the best player in the draft. Of course we still have no idea what Simmons can do, but we have seen that Brown has the potential to be a star.
Out of Cal everyone knew that Brown had the potential to be an impact player on defense in the NBA. But with that said, I don't think many people understand how good he already is as a rookie. While Jaylen was taken advantage of early in the season by both Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony, it appears that he has already starting to adapt and improve.
So far this season we have seen that Brown has great instincts on the defensive end when it comes to making both steals and blocks. But Brown has also been great at forcing opponents into difficult shots. Based on the numbers Brown has already establishing himself as a top 20 defensive player in the league and it is safe to assume that he will only get better over the next couple years.
On the offensive side the scouting report on Brown out of Cal was that he couldn't shoot consistently. Over the first month of the season it looked as if his jumped may be even worse than Marcus Smart's. We knew before the season what Brown could do in transition with his freak athleticism. Over the course of the year he has shown that he has the potential to be an elite finisher in transition. However, as of late Brown has come alive in the half court offense. For example last night we saw Brown catch the ball on the baseline drive to the basket and use a beautiful spin move to get an open finger roll for the basket (see right).
However, the biggest improvement that we've seen is his outside shooting. Over the course of the last two months he has gotten better and better. Since Brown entered the starting lineup (15 games ago) we have seen an increase in his FG% especially from behind the arc. As a starter Brown is shooting 43% from the field and 36% from three point range. In fact in the last seven games those numbers rise to 49% and 44% from three. Last night Brown hit the biggest shot of his young career on a contested three with under a minute to go
Brown has officially arrived as a contributor to the Celtics on both the offensive and defensive end. It'll be a joy to watch his game grow before our eyes. The Celtics staff has raved about Browns dedication and work ethic all season and if that continues, he'll grow into a star.