NBA Writer Explains Jaylen Brown’s Improvement As Scorer For Celtics


November 21, 2019

Jaylen Brown’s focus on fundamentals is bearing fruit.

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor on Tuesday credited Brown’s improved ball-handling for the increase in scoring average. After averaging 14.5 points per game in 2017-18 and 13 in 2018-19, Brown is scoring 18.5 points per contest this season. O’Connor believes Brown has rounded out his game with better and more varied dribbling.

“When Brown dribbled as a freshman at Cal, it was an adventure,” O’Connor wrote. “Herky-jerky handles work only when it’s intentional or your name is Corey Brewer. Brown would try to change speeds, but looked robotic because he dribbled with such an upright stance, which limited his shiftiness. Now, in his fourth season, Brown seems to know what he’s doing. He’s changing pace and tempo with his dribble to manipulate defenders, and typically getting where he wants.

“Scoring off the dribble was the next step for Brown after improving his shooting mechanics and adding touch finishes around the rim in recent years. Whether or not Brown maintains his current scoring average of 19.5 points will largely be due to factors out of his control — such as the eventual return of Gordon Hayward following rehab after hand surgery — but there’s no doubt his progress is real. Brown signed a four-year, $115 million extension before the season, and that contract could turn out to be a bargain if his ascent continues.”

Brown, 23, is becoming the type of scorer the Celtics envisioned he’d become when they selected him with the third overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

If his offensive game continues to rise toward the level of his superb defensive play, he’ll undoubtedly be that “bargain” O’Connor mentioned and set up himself nicely for an even bigger payday a few years down the line.

Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images
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