In his second year with the Boston Celtics, Jaylen Brown has become the starter at the two position. He averages14.4 points per game, 1.3 assists and 5.7 rebounds. This is a huge improvement from his rookie season stats. It’s important to remember that he was coming off the bench last season as well. Although he has given us some spectacular performances, the inconsistency still looms large.
Much Needed Improvements
When a second-year player gets the opportunity to start, there are expectations to perform well. I am in no way belittling the good games that he’s had. The opener against Cleveland, the November 18th match-up against Atlanta, and the game against Denver, just to name a few. However, I would like to point out two areas where he can improve:
- Points per Game. Jaylen Brown now averages 14.4 points per game, and that’s great. However, I think a good eighteen to twenty points from a shooting guard isn’t a ridiculous expectation. The sporadic nature of his scoring cannot be afforded when they still have a developing bench. And with Irving stepping back a bit to let others shine, Brown will have to step it up—consistently.
- Free Throw Percentage. I love his willingness to drive to the basket for the dunk or layup. Sometimes he gets the basket. Sometimes he gets the foul call. But if he’s going to get the call, he has to make the free throws. He’s left too many points out there, and the team could have used them! I don’t want to sound mean, but centers have better free throw percentages than he does.
Issues of Confidence?
I don’t know if Jaylen Brown’s up and down performance has to do with confidence, but it sometimes appears that way. Especially if his BFF on the team is outplaying him. Rookie Jayson Tatum plays like a seasoned pro, and doesn’t seem to get discouraged by missed shots. I think Tatum’s smooth transition and confidence in his play may make Brown feel a bit inadequate at times. Brown’s wavering confidence affects his performance and in turn affects the team. There was an instance in the game against the Nets last weekend where he gave up on a play. Not okay, especially since he didn’t have a very good game.
New Year, New Jaylen Brown
I’m not going to count the first two games of 2018, even though he had a decent one against the Cavs. We’re going to start fresh in London against the 76ers. A second -year player surrounded by so many diversely talented teammates should be thriving. But I know he missed a few games due to injury. Also, the Cs had a brutal schedule, which was not good when you consider the bench situation at the time. But with 39 games over a span of 95 days means more rest, or more time to practice! Hopefully Jaylen can use some of that time to work on his free throws and get out of his head a bit.
Remember, I’m a huge fan of this team and I never want to be divisive in any way. I’m just calling it like I see it. But I’m always rooting for my guys. Go Cs!