I am the biggest Jaylen Brown fan in the world.
At one point, my twitter handle involved his name.
I have been screaming from the rooftops that Jaylen is VERY good.
Many a night I like Jaylen more than Jayson. In fact, I am a Jaylen for last shot over Tatum guy.
That being said, the level of play we have been graced with so far from Jaylen is a mirage. There are a couple reasons why.
Shooting Will Not Stay This Hot
Jaylen Brown has been absolutely bonkers from the field this season.
Currently, Jaylen is making 58%!!!! of field goals to start the campaign. He is also making 43% of 3 point shots. This will not continue.
This is due to sample size.
Jaylen scored a career high 42 points on the last game before the new year began. This game included many extremely difficult shots, shooting 70% from 3.
That, of course, is not reasonable to be expected every time. And similarly, this red hot start will not continue.
Of course, Jaylen has never shot this well from the field or from 3. If Jaylen shoots a more normal percentage from the field, he is scoring in the low 20s.
This is where i expect Jaylen to end up, somewhere around 23 ppg.
The 3 point shooting i also suspect will regress to under 40%. Jaylen has gotten better every year in many areas, including shooting. However, his free throw shooting, a better indicator of what a 3 point % should look like, has remained relatively static since last year.
Last season, Jaylen shot 72% from the line and 38% from 3. This season, Jaylen is sitting at 71% from the line and 43% from 3 (as I mentioned). This indicates Jaylen will fall back down to earth a bit from 3 as the sample size increases.
Amount of Shots Will Go Down
Jaylen is taking a robust 18.6 shots per game this season, up from 15.6 last season.
This is well deserved as he has obviously gotten better (feel for the game is better, average 1 more assist per game this season), and Hayward is not around to take shots from the wing.
Kemba has also not played.
Well Kemba, who is really only useful as a shotmaker and creator, will need the ball to be effective. He will need to score to be a weapon for this team.
That means he will need shots.
Not only will Kemba need some shots, but Pritchard has shown himself to be quite good and he may also need some shots.
Jaylen has earned the right to be the second banana behind Tatum in the shot hierarchy. I don’t know how that will work with Kemba, but I can’t seeing the aging and oft injured point guard having the ability and explosiveness to be better offensively than Brown at this point.
Therefore, at best, his field goal attempts will stay the same as his shooting percentage drops.
However this is a good chance he will get fewer opportunities to score as well, as the Celtics get healthier and the disjointed offense we have seen so far this season settles in.
Can He Keep Getting Better
Jaylen has, every year, visibly improved.
It shows in the film and on the stat sheet.
Jaylen is not a great #2 type, with elite 3 and D, decent playmaking, and solid shotmaking ability.
He can take over when the presumptive #1, Tatum is off. He also compliments Jayson well.
However, he is only 24. He has room to continue to improve for a few more years.
Jaylen absolutely has to look that he could be a #1 guy someday, a bona fide star.
I’m not sure he can be the alpha on a championship contender ever, but who even knows if Tatum can.
However, with Jayson and Brown combined, I would say we can beat anyone. This duo needs to be kept intact and continue to grow with one another.
I, for one, could not be more excited to watch young Jaylen continue to shine. He is finally getting his due.
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-Brent Buckley (@bigbucksbuckley on twitter)