Jaylen Brown is a consistent playmaker for the Boston Celtics, though areas of his impact may be missed when they take place off of the stat sheet.

In the first two games of December, Brown did not record an assist in matchups against the Philadelphia 76ers and the Indiana Pacers. The supermax player received criticism as a result as the box score gave the illusion that he had not done enough as a facilitator in those games.

Given that cause-and-effect nature of assists, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla shot down the impact of a missing statistic in Brown’s performance.

“It’s one of the most misleading stats of all-time,” Mazzulla told reporters after Tuesday’s 120-113 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. “You know why? You know what has to happen for you to get an assist? (They have to make the shot). What we look at are potential assists. To me, it’s one of the most misleading things to say a guy didn’t get an assist. That doesn’t mean he didn’t pass. That doesn’t mean he didn’t make the right read. It just means that on his potential-assist opportunities, those shots didn’t go in. I think that’s what’s important for our guys.”

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Like Mazzulla, Brown’s fellow superstar Jayson Tatum echoed the value of potential assists and shared his analysis of growth from his Celtics teammate.

“Part of having assists is guys have to make the shot,” Tatum said on Tuesday night. “They track potential assists all the time. You can’t pay too much attention to things like that. His growth as a playmaker has gotten better each and every season.”

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Though Brown can certainly make plays as a passer, his greatest ability in helping the Celtics remains in his skills as a scorer.

“What does success look like?” Mazzulla explained. “Jaylen averaged 5 1/2 potential assists in those two games. In reality, we don’t need him to average more potential assists. We need him to score. We need to put him in positions to where he can get out in transition and run, get those easy passes and get inside the paint.”

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The Celtics head coach doubled down in support of one of his best players, especially in terms of analyzing performance beyond the stat sheet.

“For this team, it’s important that success isn’t defined by stuff like that because it’s misleading,” Mazzulla added. “It’s not fair to them.”

Brown helps to elevate the Celtics to a second straight win over the Cavaliers on Thursday night.

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Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images