The Boston Celtics got off to a bit of a rocky start to the NBA bubble, as most teams did. It took some players more time than others to get their wind back from under them. But for Celtics’ guard/forward Jaylen Brown, he looked like he never took a break from the game.
Is Jaylen Brown the Celtics’ Best Player Inside the NBA Bubble?
Consistency is Key
Jaylen Brown last 5 games
20 PTS – 6 REB – 4 3PM
21 PTS – 4 REB – 5 3PM
18 PTS – 10 REB – 2 BLK
30 PTS – 6 REB – 6 3PM
22 PTS – 4 REB – 3 3PM pic.twitter.com/EuFG0JVlMV
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 8, 2020
Brown has been the most consistent player for Boston in the bubble. He brings the same level of intensity and confidence each and every game, while some of his teammates have taken a little more time to get there. Kemba Walker was battling a minutes restriction, but he still managed to be very impactful as his playing time continues to progress. Jayson Tatum started out very cold and non-impactful for Boston, but has started to turn around. During this time, fans began to appreciate what Brown brings to this Celtics team.
While Tatum’s rise from young star to franchise superstar was heavily showcased this season, Brown’s leap was not nearly as talked about. That should not go unnoticed. When Brown first entered the league back in 2016, he was merely a raw and athletic prospect with a “too smart” scouting report. Turns out, being mentally headstrong in the NBA has tremendous benefits.
Jaylen Brown and His Continued Progression
Each season since his rookie year, Brown has added a new layer to his game, to the point now that he is among the league’s elite two-way players, and he’s only 23 years old.
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) August 8, 2020
The Boston Celtics finished with a 5-3 record inside the NBA bubble. In their big win against the Raptors, Brown lead all scorers with 20 points on 7-14 shooting (4-8 from 3-pt) and six rebounds. Dating back to pre-shutdown in March, Brown has now scored 20+ in 10 of his last 11 games.
New Level of Confidence
Big time shot 🔥 pic.twitter.com/wUURgLhHDm
— ESPN (@espn) August 2, 2020
Brown isn’t just getting empty numbers, but visually one can see his game evolve. His decision-making is sharp, he’s attacking the basket with more aggression, yet his finishes are landing softly in the net, and his shots are falling with confidence.
Brown’s catch-and-shoot plays have been especially impressive in the bubble. He’s stepping into each shot and not hesitating to shoot the ball, something that he would have otherwise been doing pre-shutdown and in seasons prior. While that element is just a small part of his progression, his continued improvement into a strong three-point shooter just makes him even more of a threat.
So, with that all being said, is it too far of a stretch to believe that Jaylen Brown can be considered the Celtics best all-around player?
Jaylen Brown Should Be Recognized
Fans will first point to Jayson Tatum, and maybe they’re correct. Tatum’s midseason leap saw fans look at him in a whole new light. He became an elite two-way wing in a matter of months and his level of play for that stretch of time surpassed all his teammates. Then there is Kemba Walker, who is a proven All-Star point guard with one of the tightest handles along with one of the strongest clutch genes in the league. Both Tatum and Walker can easily be considered the team’s number one threat.
Brown is a unique talent for sure. He is able to drop a nightly 20 points and 6-7 rebounds while also locking up the best player on the other team, a responsibility that guys like Tatum or Walker don’t have to undertake on a nightly basis.
Jaylen Brown may very well be the team’s best all-around talent on the team, as he can do just about everything an NBA player should do at a high level, but is he the best on the team? That depends on who you’re asking.