Jaylen Brown: More than enough in Year 8.

wade boggs chicken dinner

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There are two wild cards here. One is where ownership is willing to go with luxury tax payments. You may need to pick between Jaylen and Jrue + trade return for Jaylen. The other is how this season ends.
I would be shocked if the Cs (i) didn't sign Jrue to an extension or (ii) traded JB next summer after everything they did last off-season. I know no one can read the minds of ownership but they are set up for a three-year window with the best starting 5 in the NBA and nothing says to me that they are going to let financial reasons stand in the way.

Now the only caveat I'm going to make is whether a basketball reason shows up between now and June. But from all indications, BOS is looking to add, not subtract, from this group.
 

benhogan

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Here’s a list of guys I would take over Jaylen, ignoring contracts and without consideration of longevity.

Clearly Better (15): Tatum, Jokic, Embiid, Giannis, Butler, Doncic, Anthony Davis, Mitchell, SGA, Lillard, Curry, Durant, Haliburton, Sabonis, Lebron

Clearly Better but Availability Issues (4): Kawhi, Paul George, Morant, Zion

I Think Clearly Better but Recognize Others will Disagree on Some of These (9): Booker, JJJ, Fox, Jrue, Bane, Porzingis, VanVleet, Trae, Fox

I’d Rank Higher but Can Easily Understand Others Disagreeing (13): Kyrie, White, Sengun, Anthony Edwards, Markkanen, Aaron Gordon, Randle, Brunson, Bam, Barnes, Gobert, Towns, Mobley

There’s also a few other players I’m generally less high on than others, or who haven’t shown enough yet, or who are aging and declining to the point where I’m not confident putting them above him but that probably belong in the maybe better than Jaylen conversation: Harden, Chet, DeRozan, LaVine, Murray, Porter Jr, and Siakam are the first 7 that come to mind.

I suppose writing this out, it gets me to a ranking in the 40’s, not sub-50, but that’s pretty consistent with my earlier comment that said I wasn’t sure he’s top 50, not that he’s clearly below that level. I’ll amend that to say I don’t think he’s a top 30 player and that he properly ranks in the 35-50 range.

Note: the above lists aren’t ordered, nor am I necessarily saying that I think everyone in a higher tier is better than the next tier as the groupings are intended to account for both my views and general consensus as to player talent level.
Up for consideration on your lists:

Mikal Bridges, OG Anunoby, and Franz Wagner may eventually be better fits in Boston than Brown due to salary, age, and style of play.
 

Auger34

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I’m pretty confused about that list and the groupings. If that list is who is a better fit for the Celtics as a player, then it’s laughably terrible. Like, not even worth typing out a response.

If it’s just in general, it’s better but I still disagree with a lot of it.

I know at the end there’s kind of a disclaimer about the groupings but I really have to quibble with Sabonis being “clearly better” (and one of the 15 listed in that grouping, which is interesting) Can you win anything of significance with Sabonis as a core guy? He’s a great offensive player….hes also pretty bad defensively and he’s basically a square peg for a round hole in any defensive scheme. He has to play center…but he can’t protect the rim at all.

As for FVV and Trae over JB, I completely disagree. I don’t think either of them are even close. MPJ, DeRozan, LaVine, Sengun, Randle….I mean come on, really? Julius Randle?! The guy can’t throw the ball into the fucking ocean right now and he’s barely passable on defense. And those are just the names that I think are DEFINITELY wrong. I have minor quibbles with some of the other names but it’s not worth it

All of these names typed out, I am more convinced than ever that Jaylen is a top 30 player.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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The slip and groin pull tonight did not look good - these things can take a month or two to heal. Have to hope it isn’t as bad as it appeared.
 

Jimbodandy

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The slip and groin pull tonight did not look good - these things can take a month or two to heal. Have to hope it isn’t as bad as it appeared.
That floor was a fucking joke tonight. Guys on both teams slipping multiple times. Looked like a pulled groin for JB. I'd expect a week off, because why not play it safe.
 

lovegtm

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They're doing some nice small things in making the Jaylen/KP lineups work. A lot more of a guard bringing it up the floor, running Jaylen off screens, and then setting up PnRs with him and Porzingis, where he has a lot of space and is getting comfortable with the reads.

I think there's something here, and want to see what it turns into over the next 20-30 games.
 

Eddie Jurak

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This was Brown's best game of the year. Scored 26 on 10 of 16. Didn't force anything. Season high 8 assists, including 5 assists to KP and a lob to <checks notes> Sam Hauser. KP also threw a pass to a cutting JB that JB finished with a windmill dunk.

View: https://twitter.com/TatumSantista/status/1727509248894984607?s=20


At one point, KP and Brown worked a give and go that was straight out of the "shit that Bird and Walton would have done... if they were more athletic" file.

View: https://twitter.com/taylorcsnow/status/1727548505827180809?s=20
 

lovegtm

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This was Brown's best game of the year. Scored 26 on 10 of 16. Didn't force anything. Season high 8 assists, including 5 assists to KP and a lob to <checks notes> Sam Hauser. KP also threw a pass to a cutting JB that JB finished with a windmill dunk.

View: https://twitter.com/TatumSantista/status/1727509248894984607?s=20


At one point, KP and Brown worked a give and go that was straight out of the "shit that Bird and Walton would have done... if they were more athletic" file.

View: https://twitter.com/taylorcsnow/status/1727548505827180809?s=20
I find it sort of amusing that the best solution for Jaylen Brown's playmaking has been to acquire one guy, and then tell Jaylen to get as good as he can at just passing to that guy.

(Oversimplification but also sort of true)
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I find it sort of amusing that the best solution for Jaylen Brown's playmaking has been to acquire one guy, and then tell Jaylen to get as good as he can at just passing to that guy.

(Oversimplification but also sort of true)
It's fucking working, though. Aside his handle, one of his biggest issues has been the times he gets tunnel vision when he has the ball. This is a much better alternative.
 

lovegtm

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It's fucking working, though. Aside his handle, one of his biggest issues has been the times he gets tunnel vision when he has the ball. This is a much better alternative.
Oh, it's definitely working, and getting better as the season goes and their chemistry builds. It's just very funny.
 

TripleOT

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Very wise move by Joe Mazzulla to have JB and KP focus on the two-man game. Having a 7’3” center to run pick and roll with when you’re incredibly athletic and can take the ball to the basket as well as almost anybody in the league, when the center can rim run with the best of them and also can shoot three pointers is a very good situation. If the defense sags even a couple of feet to corral JB, Zinger can launch a quick trigger three. Porzingis is
84% at the rim, and 71% on two pointers overall, and his 62.1% eFG is the highest of his career, despite being only 33% from deep.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Here's where my worry about Brown comes in. The Bucks (especially Middleton) looked old and slow last night, and they did not defend in a way designed to pressure the ball and take passing lanes away. The Bucks, the way they played yesterday, were basically tailor made for Brown to destroy.

The Celtics as a team, and Brown specifically, struggle when defenses are aggressive about attacking their weaknesses, most notably their propensities to turn the ball over and to force their offense.

This was a great look for the Celtics and Brown, but I'm not sure whether it says anything how the Celtics will handle better defenses in the playoffs.
 

lovegtm

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Here's where my worry about Brown comes in. The Bucks (especially Middleton) looked old and slow last night, and they did not defend in a way designed to pressure the ball and take passing lanes away. The Bucks, the way they played yesterday, were basically tailor made for Brown to destroy.

The Celtics as a team, and Brown specifically, struggle when defenses are aggressive about attacking their weaknesses, most notably their propensities to turn the ball over and to force their offense.

This was a great look for the Celtics and Brown, but I'm not sure whether it says anything how the Celtics will handle better defenses in the playoffs.
I agree, but Milwaukee is a leading contender in the East, so it seems pretty useful to have Brown as part of a gameplan to attack their oldness and slowness.

They'll have to find other stuff against Philly, Miami, etc, but that's where you're happy to have other high-end scorers. I also think some of this probably translates against Philly.
 

Imbricus

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I only saw the first half, but it looked like Brown had a great game. I was most impressed by the eight assists vs. one turnover. Now, if Brown can do that against a team like Miami that's clogging the lane and collapsing on him ... man, that would be something. His strength and athleticism almost guarantees he'll be somewhere on the highlight reel every night.

Separately, I hope the Jaylen Brown flame wars in the game threads die down. I think everyone's got to realize that game threads are the very definition of hot takes. Jaylen sucks. Tatum sucks. Kornet sucks. Pritchard sucks. Horford sucks. I've seen those comments (or the equivalents, basically) dozens of times. It's just what game threads are. And posters do undeniably have favorites, and that shows too.

But I think what matters most is the quality of the content outside of the game threads, when the analysis is cooler, more rational. And for my money, that's generally pretty high quality.
 

Euclis20

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I agree, but Milwaukee is a leading contender in the East, so it seems pretty useful to have Brown as part of a gameplan to attack their oldness and slowness.

They'll have to find other stuff against Philly, Miami, etc, but that's where you're happy to have other high-end scorers. I also think some of this probably translates against Philly.
Yeah there are worse things than having our 2nd best player match up perfectly with [potentially] our biggest playoff rival. He doesn't have to do this against every team, but if he's gonna be the best player on the court when we play the Bucks, that's more than fine.
 

lovegtm

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Jaylen is playing really well. He is seeing the floor and playmaking better, and the non-Tatum minutes have quietly become pretty good.
 

pjheff

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Jaylen is playing really well. He is seeing the floor and playmaking better, and the non-Tatum minutes have quietly become pretty good.
I agree, and at least to my eye test, a lot of the credit seems to go to Derrick White.
 

lovegtm

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I agree, and at least to my eye test, a lot of the credit seems to go to Derrick White.
Hmmm...White has been great, and plays well with Brown, but I think most of the credit for Jaylen Brown playing well and playmaking at a higher level should go to Jaylen Brown.
 

JoeSuit

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Hmmm...White has been great, and plays well with Brown, but I think most of the credit for Jaylen Brown playing well and playmaking at a higher level should go to Jaylen Brown.
I agree that the lion's share of credit goes to JB but I believe having teammates succeed helps a player push thru tendencies. In other words, JT and JB are facilitating more than ever because they know a drive and kick to a wide open teammate works. Put either on a team with four insurance salesmen and they're going to iso constantly. So, yeah, Derrick White plays into it.
 

Van Everyman

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Hmmm. If we’re going to be crediting JB’s play to someone else, are we sure it shouldn’t be Porzingis? They have a certified bromance and while the Zinger has been out a few games his impact on Brown’s facilitating has been notable.
 

lovegtm

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Hmmm. If we’re going to be crediting JB’s play to someone else, are we sure it shouldn’t be Porzingis? They have a certified bromance and while the Zinger has been out a few games his impact on Brown’s facilitating has been notable.
He and KP have been good together, but Brown was making noticeable progress while KP was out with injury as well.
 

sonofgodcf

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Horford missed the shot so the pass didn't get any attention, but Jaylen's inbound to Al for the wide-open three was impressive. Great vision to even see it, and he delivered a dart on what looked like a difficult angle.
 

pjheff

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Hmmm...White has been great, and plays well with Brown, but I think most of the credit for Jaylen Brown playing well and playmaking at a higher level should go to Jaylen Brown.
I meant the improvement in the team’s non-Tatum minutes, some of which have also been non-Brown minutes this season.
 

lovegtm

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Jaylen had a few really good rim reads, where it looked like he had a layup, but Allen was coming (bringing 3 to the ball), and then he made the passes that led to some very quality 3s.

Didn't think he had this kind of growth left in him at age 27, but it honestly looks like getting the bag has freed him up to work on playmaking and play harder on D, while worrying less about averaging 26.
 

chilidawg

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Didn't think he had this kind of growth left in him at age 27, but it honestly looks like getting the bag has freed him up to work on playmaking and play harder on D, while worrying less about averaging 26.
I'd agree from what i've seen, but then again Mazzulla said something to the effect of they want him to be a scorer, and aggressize especially in the early clock and in transition.
 

DavidTai

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I'd agree from what i've seen, but then again Mazzulla said something to the effect of they want him to be a scorer, and aggressize especially in the early clock and in transition.
I don't think they expected his playmaking to be unlocked with Porzingis quite so early, so they're utilizing it now because developing this right now would really help him in the playoffs.
 

Jimbodandy

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I don't think they expected his playmaking to be unlocked with Porzingis quite so early, so they're utilizing it now because developing this right now would really help him in the playoffs.
Porzingis unlocked him, but he's now doing it more comfortably with other guys even when KP is off the court. It's a great thing. Even when his shot isn't falling,, he's getting other guys shots without increasing his turnovers appreciably.
 

lovegtm

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Porzingis unlocked him, but he's now doing it more comfortably with other guys even when KP is off the court. It's a great thing. Even when his shot isn't falling,, he's getting other guys shots without increasing his turnovers appreciably.
He's been on a new level for a month+, looks like a different guy in a lot of ways. First Celtics fans, and then nationally, people are going to start realizing it soon. Everyone is still hungover from the "Jaylen Brown can't dribble against Miami" meme, but that stale narrative doesn't have much time left.
 

Auger34

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He's been on a new level for a month+, looks like a different guy in a lot of ways. First Celtics fans, and then nationally, people are going to start realizing it soon. Everyone is still hungover from the "Jaylen Brown can't dribble against Miami" meme, but that stale narrative doesn't have much time left.
Amen. It’s been a little while now and it’s something that he is consciously trying to do
 

Eddie Jurak

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The turnaround fallaway seems to be much more of a weapon for Brown than it has been in the past. These days he is knocking down some shots that look very difficult.
 

RSN Diaspora

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The turnaround fallaway seems to be much more of a weapon for Brown than it has been in the past. These days he is knocking down some shots that look very difficult.
Add that to his three point range (5 of 8 today), and you’ve got a lethal combo. I have no idea if this is sustainable, but if you have both Jays firing on all cylinders, it’s hard to see how you defend them when you also have to worry about KP/Jrue/Al/White.
 

lars10

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Add that to his three point range (5 of 8 today), and you’ve got a lethal combo. I have no idea if this is sustainable, but if you have both Jays firing on all cylinders, it’s hard to see how you defend them when you also have to worry about KP/Jrue/Al/White.
And you can add Hauser and PP to that mix at times as well.. Hauser is very close to playable in any situation at this point.

KP and Brown playing off each other is great as well.. They’re both looking for each other a lot.. and I think that will only get better the longer they play together.
 

lovegtm

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Add that to his three point range (5 of 8 today), and you’ve got a lethal combo. I have no idea if this is sustainable, but if you have both Jays firing on all cylinders, it’s hard to see how you defend them when you also have to worry about KP/Jrue/Al/White.
The 3-point shooting probably is what it is at this point. However, the things that aren't going to regress are his playmaking and defense. I haven't seen Jaylen lock in defensively like this ever. He's a monster.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The 3-point shooting probably is what it is at this point. However, the things that aren't going to regress are his playmaking and defense. I haven't seen Jaylen lock in defensively like this ever. He's a monster.
JB started a campaign to make an all-Defense team. Here's his latest: https://www.audacy.com/weei/sports/celtics/jaylen-brown-leads-celtics-in-two-game-sweep-of-magic
“We gotta set the tone on defense first and foremost. We gotta continue to lay that as the groundwork and the foundation for success,” Brown said post-game. I think all of our guys are striving to be All-Defense type of guys, and I want to be the head of that snake. I want to continue to push myself but also push my teammates.”
 

Cornboy14

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This stat isn't the be all, end all, but it backs up the idea he's playing some better defense. Here's everyone that has defended 150 shots.
75328
Wildly - every prior year for Jaylen, he was worse in Defensive FG% than the year before.

2022-23 = 46.2%
2021-22 = 45.6%
2020-21 = 44.9%
2019-20 = 44.7%
2018-19 = 43.8%
2017-18 = 42.4%
2016-17 = 40.4%
 

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Bunt Single

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Interesting chart. Age seems to correlate with effective defense, at the elite end of the tier. Meaning, the better defenders tend to be older players. Which makes sense, to me. Elite defending in the NBA game is a skill that usually requires years of experience to master.
 

chilidawg

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This stat isn't the be all, end all, but it backs up the idea he's playing some better defense. Here's everyone that has defended 150 shots.
View attachment 75328
Wildly - every prior year for Jaylen, he was worse in Defensive FG% than the year before.

2022-23 = 46.2%
2021-22 = 45.6%
2020-21 = 44.9%
2019-20 = 44.7%
2018-19 = 43.8%
2017-18 = 42.4%
2016-17 = 40.4%
Old guys rule!
 

slamminsammya

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Interesting chart. Age seems to correlate with effective defense, at the elite end of the tier. Meaning, the better defenders tend to be older players. Which makes sense, to me. Elite defending in the NBA game is a skill that usually requires years of experience to master.
I don't think the chart is saying much at all except something about which parts of the floor they are defending shots. Which most defensive players don't really control.
 

TripleOT

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JB with a 28/5/6 with zero turnover to lead the Cs to a blowout win in Sacto. He was 0-3 from deep, but his demoralizing dunks set the tone for the Cs, leading to an entire game of attacking offense with JT out.

I hope we never have to see it, but this exact roster without Tatum would probably win 50+ games in a season. Brown is just that good. Hopefully as the season goes on, he can continue to unlock his greatness alongside Tatum.
 

lovegtm

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Brown is averaging a career high in assists and the fewest turnovers in 5 years.
It matches the eye test too. He looks really confident handling the ball and reading the defense.

JB with a 28/5/6 with zero turnover to lead the Cs to a blowout win in Sacto. He was 0-3 from deep, but his demoralizing dunks set the tone for the Cs, leading to an entire game of attacking offense with JT out.

I hope we never have to see it, but this exact roster without Tatum would probably win 50+ games in a season. Brown is just that good. Hopefully as the season goes on, he can continue to unlock his greatness alongside Tatum.
This exact roster with a $20-25M good roleplayer in Tatum's spot might be the #1 seed in the East. Jaylen is, as you said, just that good, and White and KP are all-stars. Oh, and somehow they also have Jrue Holiday.

Is Jaylen the Celtics' best player right now? He definitely has been for the past month. The biggest thing, for me, is that his performance used to depend on whether his 3 was dropping, and it simply doesn't matter now.
 

Bunt Single

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Last night was instructive. It may seem cheap to revisit this thread every time JB has a good game and drop in a told-you post. But here's the thing.... Jaylen changes the whole shape of a season and its possible scenarios. Without JB, when the team loses Tatum for a stretch of games it switches into "adapt" mode, not just tactically but mentally ("next man up" rhetoric notwithstanding). With JB, the C's even when they lose Tatum they still start games looking and feeling like a dangerous attack-oriented team.
 

lovegtm

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Last night was instructive. It may seem cheap to revisit this thread every time JB has a good game and drop in a told-you post. But here's the thing.... Jaylen changes the whole shape of a season and its possible scenarios. Without JB, when the team loses Tatum for a stretch of games it switches into "adapt" mode, not just tactically but mentally ("next man up" rhetoric notwithstanding). With JB, the C's even when they lose Tatum they still start games looking and feeling like a dangerous attack-oriented team.
I'm not here for "I told you so"; I'm here to enjoy a 27 year-old somehow making a big leap on both ends.
 

Montana Fan

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I love throwing it out there but at what point did the Bulls miss out on trading Pippen? Trade JB? I think not. The guy has only done every single thing he’s been asked/coached to do since he joined the C’s. Continuous improvement even in year 8 is a beautiful thing!
 

Ed Hillel

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I love throwing it out there but at what point did the Bulls miss out on trading Pippen? Trade JB? I think not. The guy has only done every single thing he’s been asked/coached to do since he joined the C’s. Continuous improvement even in year 8 is a beautiful thing!
The thing is improvement had been limited largely to his ability to score individually, and the beginning of this season he looked a bit lost. Out of seemingly nowhere, the game has slowed down for him on a dime, and there has been this incredible instant evolution as a distributor. This is very abnormal at his age, but it’s been pretty awesome to watch. I think Porzingis has been about as perfect a fit as possible to give Jaylen the confidence and space to become a legitimate playmaker for others on offense, and maybe it’s just clicked. The ball-handling is largely a non-issue if he’s making better decisions with the ball and not putting himself in situations where it does. All of a sudden he’s stopped doing that. I’d also love to know if any of the new coaches have played a role. These under-the-radar signings can make such a huge difference, especially with a young coach.