The 2021-22 NBA season is fast underway, and one player who did not show any signs of rust from the offseason is Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics. Despite taking an opening night loss against the New York Knicks in a Double OT thriller, Brown turned in a career night, dropping a career high 46 points, as he was the best player who took the floor that game. If Brown is able to play at this kind of level (maybe not 46 points, but), then the Boston Celtics are setting themselves up for plenty of success this year.
The more I think about it, the more I realize Jaylen Brown’s performance last night was one of the greatest I’ve ever watched. Like ever. How was that even possible coming out of COVID isolation?! He completely broke the rules of logic!
— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) October 21, 2021
Jaylen Brown Is The Key To The Boston Celtics 2021-22
Brown’s Career Night
.@FCHWPO’s 46 points is not only a new career-high, it also represents the most points scored by a Celtics player in a season-opening game in franchise history 🔥☘️#HumanBehindTheNumber | @TDBank_US pic.twitter.com/LHlddffw6u
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 21, 2021
It feels like I’m writing this same piece season after season now, but it continues to yield results. Jaylen Brown has grown from a purely raw and athletic forward into a well-rounded superstar as he starts his sixth NBA season. While the casual NBA fanbase may point to Jayson Tatum as the Celtics’ franchise cornerstone, but Brown is right there with him, and the ceiling between the two is limitless in Boston.
Brown turned in a career high 46 points on 16-30 shooting (8-14 from three), with nine points and six assists. He managed to stuff the stat sheet enough to stretch the game to double OT, on a night where Jayson Tatum could not get much to fall. He certainly did not look like someone who just exited quarantine after a COVID-19 diagnosis.
Brown, who turns the age of 25 on Sunday, possesses a maturity and IQ of a tenured veteran in today’s NBA. While the game has evolved long since the era of Jordan, Bird, Magic, etc, Brown manages to share that kind of mentality while honing the modern NBA skillset.
Jaylen Brown said the reason why he wanted to play tonight was because he wanted to be there for Ime Udoka’s debut.
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) October 21, 2021
Brown’s Expectations This Season
As stated before, mainstream NBA fans may see Jayson Tatum as the sole franchise star, and while he is a franchise player in his own right, so is number 7. Brown earned his first All-Star selection in 2020-21, and he should see his seat reserved come this season’s festivities. While that is a career accolade in itself, Brown should see more success along the way.
He is certainly capable of upping his scoring averages from a season ago (24.7 in 58 games), and Boston may demand that from him. He and Tatum are very similar players with similar builds and playstyles, as they have expanded their games to just about every tool in a player’s arsenal. The two now must hone in on them and find consistent play, and if one is struggling to find it one night, then the other must provide it.
While we cannot ask Brown to turn in 40-plus per night, he definitely looked capable of providing buckets at a higher volume than he ever has before on Wednesday night. He shot with confidence (career high 8 three-pointers), shot off the dribble much better than he had, and was extremely aggressive in getting inside and finishing at the rim. If he simply had Tatum provide the slightest bit more assistance, then Boston squeaks by with a win on opening night.
Nonetheless, there are 81 more games on the NBA schedule, with plenty of time to find chemistry with the rest of the roster and build consistency moving forward. This Celtics team has tons of potential, as they have not been this deep and this versatile in years. From adding veteran help in Al Horford, Dennis Schroder, and Josh Richardson, to the continued growth of young guns Robert Williams, Aaron Nesmith, Payton Pritchard, and Romeo Langford, Boston is deep in just about every department.
While nobody likes to take a loss, especially on the first night of the new season, which should embody nothing but optimism, it is a long NBA season. One that takes a physical and mentally toll on players, and fortunately for Boston, they have a headstrong leader at the forefront with Brown. His play on the floor and ability to unite the locker room is going to yield dividends in the team’s quest for championship banner 18.
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