Ready or Not The Jaylen Brown Era is Here
Last year the Celtics took Jaylen Brown number 3 overall. Many were quick to criticize GM Danny Ainge for picking brown number 3 when he could have gone several picks later. Many didn’t believe taking a chance on a super good athlete who was not very polished was a promising idea. That was then.
Very quickly, people changed their minds. Brown had a stellar opening summer league and although he didn’t put up numbers that jumped out to anybody last season, his potential shined. He averaged just over 6 points per game but had people excited about the future.
All the sudden the Celtics flipped their entire team upside down in the offseason and Jaylen Brown went from being “the future” to very much so apart of the present. Brown was primed to start and take Avery Bradley’s role in the starting lineup as a top defender who could score when needed.
Fast forward to opening night and down goes Celtics All-Star Gordon Hayward just five minutes into the game. Before Jaylen Brown could even blink, he was now expected to take on top defensive responsibilities and now offensive responsibilities. The recent 21-year-old was now expected to put the ball in the basket far more often than he has been used to and be as aggressive as possible.
For many, a challenge like this can be extremely overwhelming but Brown has never shied away from a challenge and took it head on. Although it is a small sample size, so far, he has not disappointed. Brown was averaging 17.3 points per game on 45% shooting and that was before he put up 23 on his birthday. He impressed everybody right from the first game when he averaged 25 points and had his game tying shot just barely miss. In the following three games he has continued to attack and play well and impressed with his ability to guard several positions, play 35+ minutes a game and rebound the ball.
Brown now has an opportunity to go from the athlete with a lot of potential to an extremely important player for this Celtics team. He will be expected to consistently put up somewhere to 15-20 points per game if this team is to have as much success as it wants to have.
Let’s for a second hypothetically say he finishes with averages similar to what he has now. What could that mean not only for Brown but for this team? For starters, it could mean a Most Improved Player of the year award. Many get into award hypotheticals far too early on and I am guilty of this, but he certainly would fit the bill. Yet more importantly then awards, his development may be expedited.
If Brown could expedite his development by a year or two, then this team will be that much closer to a title. Losing Hayward was brutal. He is unlikely to return this year and even if he does, we are not sure how he will play like. Many believed the Celtics were a year away from true title contenders regardless of the Hayward injury and as much as it sucks, the development of the young players on the Celtics including Brown will be a main storyline to watch this year.
Expect Kyrie Irving to have a big year. Expect Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart to contend for 6th man of the year as sparks off the bench. Expect Tatum to impress as an especially polished rookie.
Expect Marcus Morris to make a bigger impact then people might think and ready or not folks, Jaylen Brown is here. It remains to be seen just how good this could end up being. Prepare for a breakout year from Jaylen Brown.