Jaylen Brown is set to play an important role on the 2019-20 Boston Celtics. But first, he’s doing so with the U.S. men’s national basketball team.
Head coach Gregg Popovich has been impressed with Brown’s performance as a member of Team USA. The 22-year-old scored 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the team’s latest win over Brazil. Brown’s averaging 8.4 points and 4.6 rebounds in five FIBA World Cup games, but his versatility has been completely invaluable towards the Team USA’s success, which Popovich noted in a conversation with ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
“Well he’s a strong player,” Popovich said. “For his size and strength he moves well, and he will penetrate. He can catch and pull it. Get to the rim. And he’s unselfish and finding other people. He’s just kind of an all-around player. He has stepped in and given us good minutes at both ends of the floor for sure.”
Brown even played center a bit in Team USA’s 89-73 win over Brazil, something that could come in handy in Boston this year. If the Celtics have the opportunity to run small, Brown’s ability to run the five would help immensely, especially on the defensive end.
Team USA takes on France in the FIBA World Cup quarterfinals Wednesday morning at 8:30 p.m. ET.