Jaylen Brown, The Vet Years

Spelunker

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He shelved the spin moves, driving into traffic & dribbling into seams, after Q1

He's so freaking good/high level at spot-up/deep 3s + straight-line drives + mid-range jumpers from the nail he doesn't need to do anything else to be All-NBA. Which is where he is going by next season, he definitely figured something out last night.
He did exactly what everyone was calling for him to do, which led to a great 2nd half. He doesn't have the handle to dribble through traffic, he's not a great facilitator on the drive so the Heat know exactly when he starts his gather they can swarm. But adding in the stop short stepback J gave him room to get off a shot, and it really helped his drives.

Also, this did really amuse me.

View: https://twitter.com/KendrickPerkins/status/1529635323977793536
 

lovegtm

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25 year-olds don't usually have a leap in them, but Jaylen could make a "leap" by spending the offseason re-learning to dribble.
 

128

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25 year-olds don't usually have a leap in them, but Jaylen could make a "leap" by spending the offseason re-learning to dribble.
He could do worse than to work on some of the drills in Pritchard's daily routine.
 

HomeRunBaker

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25 year-olds don't usually have a leap in them, but Jaylen could make a "leap" by spending the offseason re-learning to dribble.
25 is still very young with players not completely physically or def not BBIQ mature yet. I have the peak age to be 28-29 for most players.
 

lovegtm

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25 is still very young with players not completely physically or def not BBIQ mature yet. I have the peak age to be 28-29 for most players.
That's fair. Possibly I'm over-baseballizing this, because improving BBIQ does happen past 25 for sure.
 

tbb345

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25 is still very young with players not completely physically or def not BBIQ mature yet. I have the peak age to be 28-29 for most players.
Correct, and I’d argue that Jaylen has already proven himself to be an outlier.

I’m not going to put a cap on what he can do or what he’s capable of and I think it would be kind of foolish to try
 

HomeRunBaker

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Correct, and I’d argue that Jaylen has already proven himself to be an outlier.

I’m not going to put a cap on what he can do or what he’s capable of and I think it would be kind of foolish to try
One thing that we do know is that he’s always been a straight line driver with a slow handle. This has been overshadowed by his first step, athleticism and other offensive abilities but against elite playoff level defensive pressure he needs to recognize adjustments need to be made. Same goes with Tatum which goes back to when I’ve been saying all weak about youth getting swallowed up in the playoffs until they’ve reached their peak with a small pct of outliers. Those outliers don’t necessarily have to be elite players but the most mature high IQ players who can quickly adapt (Vincent for example and even Pritchard to a degree but he’s really limited at this level).
 

Cesar Crespo

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25 is still very young with players not completely physically or def not BBIQ mature yet. I have the peak age to be 28-29 for most players.
25 is young but most players are what they are around 25, minus the incremental improvements. Those incremental improvements add up over a span of 3-4 years though, so you get the peak age of 28-29.

Jaylen Brown will probably improve on D and decision making. His handle might improve slightly too.

With that said, Brown has some weaknesses in his game and it's easier to improve from bad to average than from good to great That might give him more opportunity for growth than others, but you'd have to think he has been working on these areas all along. If that's the case, there really isn't much room for growth. There is a very good possibility Jaylen has been working on his dribble every summer, and this is the result.

I'd guess if Jaylen makes any real leap, it will be on the mental side. Or whatever you want to call it. I hate the word mental. Better decision making, learning when to make an easy pass instead of trying to drive thru 4 guys. A better understanding of defense thru experience etc.

I could see him maybe making All NBA 3rd team at his peak, especially when I look at the list this year but I don't see him ever being more than a Robin/2nd banana.

Brown will be more or less the same player next year, and I'm totally cool with that. A Jaylen Brown with an above average dribble is in the 2nd tier of players. Or possibly 3rd if you have a small 1st tier, but 11-15 range. It's nice to dream on but I don't think it's likely. And I'm not sure Jaylen really proved himself to be an outlier in terms of development. His development is pretty normal for the players who do succeed. He didn't have the Jimmy Butler or FVV development path.

if he does make another big leap, the C's will be looking at not 1, not 2, not 3... This is especially true if Tatum and TL have any type of improvements over the summer. Considering it's their age 24 summer, there is a good chance of that. Hell, the team is already going to be competing for titles every year as it is.
 

RorschachsMask

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Man, I can’t believe he’s going to be 26 when next season starts. I was still in my 20s when he got drafted, now I’m washed.

I think Jaylen will still improve on the fringes, but big leaps at 26 or later is incredibly rare.
 

ugmo33

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I feel like that Jaylen dunk really emphasized the magnitude of the turnaround in the second half. It was the last thing I was expecting in a game like this and it capped off a fantastic stretch from him. Short memory indeed. They got him a ton of spot up shots to start the third quarter and he took off from there.

View: https://twitter.com/espn/status/1529656915860418560

View: https://twitter.com/Ballislife/status/1529665705842552832
Underappreciated Al with the shove-screen to set up this dunk
 

tbb345

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there’s no way to prove this but I believe that Jaylen’s handle was much better last year before the wrist injury. I recall lots of tweets talking about how crazy the jump was.

I think the wrist injury really sapped a lot of his progress and he wasn’t able to put in the work on that particular skill that he normally does.
Id bet with a healthy offseason there will be another fairly significant leap there
 

NomarsFool

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Underappreciated Al with the shove-screen to set up this dunk
In the first angle it really looks like a shove, but I think it looks less like a shove in the second angle. Looks like the defensive player is switching his attention and voluntarily moving towards Brown.
 

BigSoxFan

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Is there a good example of someone materially improving their ball handling mid-career? Like, I get the whole shooting improvement thing that we've seen with Jason Kidd and others but ball handling seems like a skill that's harder to learn for some.
 

Devizier

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Is there a good example of someone materially improving their ball handling mid-career? Like, I get the whole shooting improvement thing that we've seen with Jason Kidd and others but ball handling seems like a skill that's harder to learn for some.
I mean, Jaylen already improved his ballhandling quite a lot. But that’s early career.
 

tbrown_01923

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I think he can still make meaningful improvements in his decision making, which could lead to less turnovers / strips. He has improved a ton with his handle (and in his passing and willingness to pass). I think he can identify better drive vs pullup opportunities.
 

sezwho

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25 is young but most players are what they are around 25, minus the incremental improvements. Those incremental improvements add up over a span of 3-4 years though, so you get the peak age of 28-29.

Jaylen Brown will probably improve on D and decision making. His handle might improve slightly too.

With that said, Brown has some weaknesses in his game and it's easier to improve from bad to average than from good to great That might give him more opportunity for growth than others, but you'd have to think he has been working on these areas all along. If that's the case, there really isn't much room for growth. There is a very good possibility Jaylen has been working on his dribble every summer, and this is the result.
..
I'd guess if Jaylen makes any real leap, it will be on the mental side. Or whatever you want to call it. I hate the word mental. Better decision making, learning when to make an easy pass instead of trying to drive thru 4 guys. A better understanding of defense thru experience etc.
...
Re the bolded, I also typically struggle with the word mental but I think its appropriate here. While he can and will certainly benefit from pure dribbling drills, the game slowing down for him on both ends seems to offer the most room for improvement. He's obviously exceptionally bright and dedicated but those two things can also exist in a young man who sometimes struggles to maintain focus. That might continue to develop with time. I think the combo of better decisions/focus + better handles could generate another real bump.
 

benhogan

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Jaylen has consistently shot better from 10-16' (45.7%) than from 3-10' (40.9%) over his career. Every season over the last 5 he's been better. Tatum has been on an opposite arc from those distances.

I'd expect Jaylen's decision-making to get better as he gets older and not force his way into trouble. Take more 3s and pull up from 10-16'.

Maybe his offensive upside can be a DeRozan mid-range game with 3pt shooting?
 

Cesar Crespo

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Jaylen has consistently shot better from 10-16' (45.7%) than from 3-10' (40.9%) over his career. Every season over the last 5 he's been better. Tatum has been on an opposite arc from those distances.

I'd expect Jaylen's decision-making to get better as he gets older and not force his way into trouble. Take more 3s and pull up from 10-16'.

Maybe his offensive upside can be a DeRozan mid-range game with 3pt shooting?
I don't think Brown really has a good comp because very few players of his profile actually work out to this extent.
 

JakeRae

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Is there a good example of someone materially improving their ball handling mid-career? Like, I get the whole shooting improvement thing that we've seen with Jason Kidd and others but ball handling seems like a skill that's harder to learn for some.
My sense (completely unsupported) is that lots of players incrementally improve their handle in the sense of tightening it so that they are less turnover prone. Meaningful changes in what a player can do with their dribble are much less common. In other words, if people are hoping for Jaylen to be a guy who breaks defenders down off the dribble to create step back threes or open driving lanes, that’s pretty unlikely to happen. But I think most of us aren’t asking for a fundamental change but just a tightened handle while executing the same types of quick burst straight line drives Jaylen currently lives off of. That is something he should be able to improve because it’s an incremental rather than transformative change.
 

Ed Hillel

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Here
[/QUOTE]
So too would Joe Johnson, which is wild. Tony Delk, alas, would not get a ring.

Back to Jaylen, this needs to be a poster:

View attachment 51900
Jaylen is one of those guys that hangs when he’s in the air and seems to somehow elevate more midair, like a second jump. This pic, if you look at it, looks like he’s going to separate his shoulder on the rim lol. But he gets that last second boost.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Is there a good example of someone materially improving their ball handling mid-career? Like, I get the whole shooting improvement thing that we've seen with Jason Kidd and others but ball handling seems like a skill that's harder to learn for some.
The improvement wouldn’t necessarily have to come with his handle but in his decision making to not expose himself to so many of these situations. If Jaylen had more experience against this level/intensity of defense he would have a better understanding of when to attack/not attack and when to be more aggressive with the ball/when to be more protective. This all ties into what I’ve been preaching about how young players are more volatile in performance the bigger the stage without the experience or without yet learning from failure on how these big stages play.
 

BigSoxFan

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The improvement wouldn’t necessarily have to come with his handle but in his decision making to not expose himself to so many of these situations. If Jaylen had more experience against this level/intensity of defense he would have a better understanding of when to attack/not attack and when to be more aggressive with the ball/when to be more protective. This all ties into what I’ve been preaching about how young players are more volatile in performance the bigger the stage without the experience or without yet learning from failure on how these big stages play.
I mean, he’s had a ton more experience in this department than most 10-15 year vets. He’s been to the ECF 4 times and lost 3, including one just 2 years ago. He’s had the reps. He’s had the failure. Time for the lessons to start sticking better.
 
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jezza1918

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I mean, he’s had a ton more experience in this department than most 10-15 year vets. He’s been to the ECF 4 times and lost them all, including one just 2 years ago. He’s had the reps. He’s had the failure. Time for the lessons to start sticking better.
By my count, he lost 3 in his first 4 years and is currently playing his 4th. Not that it really takes away from your larger point, but feels like bad juju not to edit...
 

HomeRunBaker

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I mean, he’s had a ton more experience in this department than most 10-15 year vets. He’s been to the ECF 4 times and lost them all, including one just 2 years ago. He’s had the reps. He’s had the failure. Time for the lessons to start sticking better.
I don’t disagree. Some players get up to speed on this area right away (Vincent for ex:) while others sometimes never do or do so at a slower pace. Some of his decisions have been downright cringe worthy in this series but overall he’s played pretty awesome.
 

BigSoxFan

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I don’t disagree. Some players get up to speed on this area right away (Vincent for ex:) while others sometimes never do or do so at a slower pace. Some of his decisions have been downright cringe worthy in this series but overall he’s played pretty awesome.
Agreed. Even if this is the fully baked JB, he’s still a really good player. If he fixes some of these recurring issues…he can be really, REALLY good.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I think processing and decision making can always improve. The more you see, the more you’ve seen and the better able you are to respond the next time you see it.

Not trying to compare anyone to Tom Brady, but a big part of Tom Brady’s late career greatness isn’t just about being great, it’s about being around long enough to the point that he’s seen every defense and knows the schemes better than the defenders do. I think with that kind of thing there is always room to keep building on it, whether it’s diagnosing a defense or as a QB or spotting an aggressive double team sooner and making the right pass quicker.
 

PedrosRedGlove

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I mean, he’s had a ton more experience in this department than most 10-15 year vets. He’s been to the ECF 4 times and lost 3, including one just 2 years ago. He’s had the reps. He’s had the failure. Time for the lessons to start sticking better.
I do think it makes a difference for Tatum and Brown that only the last 2 seasons has that experience involved it being THEIR team. Jaylen's first ECF was as a rookie getting 15 mpg off the bench while the Cavs gentlemen swept the IT Celtics after IT went down. The 2018 Cinderella run does make it feel like they've been knocking on the door forever. But even in the bubble, though they may have been the better players, they still had veterans Kemba and Hayward playing 30 minutes and "leading" the team.

These reps are coming at higher usage, with more pressure, than Jaylen has ever had to deal with in the past. As experienced as he is in this environment, he's still a bit inexperienced in the situation.
 

BigSoxFan

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I do think it makes a difference for Tatum and Brown that only the last 2 seasons has that experience involved it being THEIR team. Jaylen's first ECF was as a rookie getting 15 mpg off the bench while the Cavs gentlemen swept the IT Celtics after IT went down. The 2018 Cinderella run does make it feel like they've been knocking on the door forever. But even in the bubble, though they may have been the better players, they still had veterans Kemba and Hayward playing 30 minutes and "leading" the team.

These reps are coming at higher usage, with more pressure, than Jaylen has ever had to deal with in the past. As experienced as he is in this environment, he's still a bit inexperienced in the situation.
Fair point. His time as an alpha or beta scorer has been more limited.
 

slamminsammya

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His writing feels really try-hard with his use of a thesaurus. Sometimes it is OK to use simple language.

That said, the basketball insights were good and interesting.

Sentences like this one read like a high school student whose english teacher crossed out every common word choice and asked them to find a synonym:

A component of Brown’s irreplaceable suckerpunch signature is his slashing zeal and finishing guile.
 

jmcc5400

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His writing feels really try-hard with his use of a thesaurus. Sometimes it is OK to use simple language.

That said, the basketball insights were good and interesting.

Sentences like this one read like a high school student whose english teacher crossed out every common word choice and asked them to find a synonym:
Had the same thought. Pretty good analysis, but the writing - get thee to Strunk and White.
 

TripleOT

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Regarding the JB playoff turnover, he has 2 or less in 10 of the 16 games, one 3 TO game, three 4 TO games, and two ridiculous 7 TO games.

His 2.9 TOs in 36.9 minutes is a tiny bit lower TO rate than his regular season miscue rate. It’s infuriating to watch the same silly mistakes over and over again, but his stats are up slightly almost across the board from his playoffs two seasons ago. He has a good enough handle, when he’s under control and is making good decisions.

However, in the playoffs, having a guy who can blast away at a defense that’s not set yet in transition is very valuable, especially when the threes aren’t falling against set defenses. I want Brown to stay aggressive.

He needs to value the ball better, and hit more FTs. On defense, he needs to eliminate the handful of missed assignments each game, like not boxing out, or losing his man on a back cut or switch.
 

lovegtm

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Regarding the JB playoff turnover, he has 2 or less in 10 of the 16 games, one 3 TO game, three 4 TO games, and two ridiculous 7 TO games.

His 2.9 TOs in 36.9 minutes is a tiny bit lower TO rate than his regular season miscue rate. It’s infuriating to watch the same silly mistakes over and over again, but his stats are up slightly almost across the board from his playoffs two seasons ago. He has a good enough handle, when he’s under control and is making good decisions.

However, in the playoffs, having a guy who can blast away at a defense that’s not set yet in transition is very valuable, especially when the threes aren’t falling against set defenses. I want Brown to stay aggressive.

He needs to value the ball better, and hit more FTs. On defense, he needs to eliminate the handful of missed assignments each game, like not boxing out, or losing his man on a back cut or switch.
For your secondary scorer, it's hard to do better than a guy putting up 24/game on efficient shooting with a couple turnovers a game and some assists mixed in. Particularly when, as you said, he punishes mismatches.

Miami and Dallas would kill to have a JB, and we saw how hard it was for Milwaukee when they were missing theirs.

If Tatum is really a superstar playmaker (things are headed in that direction), JB is a perfect 2A piece, minor warts and all.
 

NomarsFool

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He was much better at the line last night. Maybe some extra FT reps since Friday or random - either way - he made an improvement
 

Eddie Jurak

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He was much better at the line last night. Maybe some extra FT reps since Friday or random - either way - he made an improvement
He was actually good at the line in game 6 - until he got there 99-99 with the game on the line and missed both. He was 7 of 9 overall in that game. In game 7 he was 7 of 8.
 

TripleOT

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24 points on 15 shots for JB, with 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and a lot of solid defense in his best Game 7 performance of his career. He was only 1-5 from three, but him putting pressure on the Heat defense by attacking the rim in early offense was crucial to building a lead. Brown still has to tighten up on the turnover, with 4.
 

Just a bit outside

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My favorite Brown play last night was when he didn’t go for Butler’s shot fake and then forced a really difficult shot. He was fooled by Lowry on a similar play earlier in the game but was great on that play.
 

jablo1312

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He had a few incredibly difficult, impressive finishes last night. Has been a theme for much of the past month. He'll have his spots to attack vs GSW, finishing against draymond will be a different test though.
 

Euclis20

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Brown quietly had a really excellent series. 24/7/3 with efficient shooting (488/.404/.727). For all the loose dribble talk, his turnovers/36 were nearly identical to his regular season numbers (3.0 in the series vs 2.9 in the regular season). GS has some weaker perimeter defenders (or is at least more willing to play them) so he'll have a chance to put up some big numbers in the finals.
 

NomarsFool

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Brown’s turnovers and missed free throws came in bunches, which always exaggerates the frequency.
 

RorschachsMask

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Jaylen was awesome this series, for the most part he was exactly what you want in a second guy. Also just came across this, from way before they teamed up here.