On a recent episode of That’s Some Cheese, I was asked; “Who will take the last shot for the Celtics? Kemba Walker or Jayson Tatum?”. Personally, I don’t care about those type of questions. I think they’re overblown but it encapsulates an even better topic. Why wasn’t Jaylen Brown included in the discussion or even mentioned as the Celtics most valuable piece?
I’m not saying I agree or disagree with this. However, after Kendrick Perkins said Jaylen Brown is the best player on the Celtics, I started thinking about it more and more. I’m not sure he’s wrong.
Yes, Perkins is a hot take machine. He has said from wild stuff in the past. This take is far from crazy. Just starting with the basic argument, the numbers really don’t lie. Brown is averaging 20.6 points and 6.3 rebounds rebounds per game. Brown’s shooting numbers are also incredible. Sign me up for 48.8 percent and 38.9 percent from 3-point range all day long.
Brown is also the best defender of the core 4. Brown is an elite defender. Marcus Smart gets all the pub on this team for his defense but Brown is a monster on that end of the floor. Boston is 4th in defensive rating for a reason. It’s not just Marcus Smart. Jaylen Brown is a dawg on both ends.
Brown, 23, has always been an elite athlete. Brown has just developed into a star player and his growth has been fun to watch. Obviously having Brad Stevens as your coach to mold the clay helps. Brown gets up and down the floor in a heartbeat throwing down fast breaks dunks and knocking down any shot with an inch of room. At 6-foot-7, his length has also helped him on both ends of the floor.
Coming out of Cal, my hope for Jaylen Brown was to become Jimmy Butler. Just be Butler. Listen, I’m not going to say Brown is better than Butler. BUT… he’s WAY ahead of where Butler was at this age. Remember, at the age of 23, Butler was averaging 8.6 points per game. That’s the scary part. I’m not sure Jaylen is as pyscho as Jimmy but Brown has plenty of fire and is still growing. Brown’s a star at 23 at an age and theoretically should continue to improve.
Now you may be saying, Brown can’t get much better than the numbers he’s averaging. That may be correct but Brown has room to grow. One area is his playmaking ability. When Kemba Walker leaves the floor, the offense can get stagnant at times. Brown can do damage slashing but not often if he has to make a dribble move and find an open teammate. Brown is averaging 2.1 assists per game but that number can go up. The next transition to his game will be using his athleticism to set up teammates when defenses help towards his side.
Is Jaylen Brown the Celtics best player? I’m not going to argue against it nor is it a take just trying to get clicks. Brown is a superstar on both ends and has proven it already as a young pup. The Celtics future is scary and Brown’s growth is part of the reason why Boston is legit title contenders.