Jaylen Brown's 2020-21 Season

lovegtm

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His first/second step are so ridiculous--in the clip below, his defender plays him to drive and even anticipates where he's going and slides to the spot. It doesn't matter: Jaylen is by him.

 

benhogan

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His first/second step are so ridiculous--in the clip below, his defender plays him to drive and even anticipates where he's going and slides to the spot. It doesn't matter: Jaylen is by him.

JB's mind "rookie guarding me, at worse I'll euro step to my left and draw a foul if I don't drive past him"

It's incredibly important for the C's to be spread with JayCrew on the floor. Nobody at the dunker/post please
 

lovegtm

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JB's mind "rookie guarding me, at worse I'll euro step to my left and draw a foul if I don't drive past him"

It's incredibly important for the C's to be spread with JayCrew on the floor. Nobody at the dunker/post please
There’s a realistic path to a 5-out offense based on Jaylen beating his man 1-on-1 and then making simple reads in a spread floor. They don’t quite have the personnel at the 5 to space it that way, although Theis/Grant in the corner gets close.
 

BaseballJones

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His first/second step are so ridiculous--in the clip below, his defender plays him to drive and even anticipates where he's going and slides to the spot. It doesn't matter: Jaylen is by him.

And.....effortlessly. He just glides by him like it's nothing.
 

GreenMonster49

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And.....effortlessly. He just glides by him like it's nothing.
Notice how he dips and advances his left shoulder as he goes past his defender--it's a great use of fundamental positioning that makes the rest of the drive so much easier.
 

benhogan

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Curry 3rd? can't be possible, must be noise

heard he was washed and not a star

at least he's a better defender then Giannis
 

chilidawg

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Conley is near the top of Raptor rankings too, based more on D than O. Early season noise, but that doesn't mean these guys haven't played well.

Trade rumor darling Lonzo Ball looking good too.
 

DannyDarwinism

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Jaylen imma let you finish but Mike Conley up there... What the hell?

Edit: Also McCollum! I suspect RPM is noisy right now.
Conley's a bit surprising, but he's having a really good season. CJ was basically scoring like Jaylen (averaging 28 per 36, with a 62 TS%) and had a 5:1 (!!!) assist/TO. He was incredible before he went down.
 

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Conley is really, really good....he has age/injury concerns and he has tended to fade in playoffs but he is a legit impact guy when all cylinders are firing. OK, maybe not "top 10" good but it's not all noise. Patty Mills is, to me, what you get with RPM sometimes with role-players: really spectacular efficiency combined with 'mostly playing in good lineups' leads to inflated number relative to true talent level
 

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One of my favorite things about Jaylen is that he is almost never called for a charge. Taking charges is one of the ways an athletically gifted but less skilled player can be defended, and even last year Brown had moved way past that. He nearly always does the right thing when driving to the basket, whether that be to go up strong for the dunk, stop short and wait for his man to sail past him before laying it in, or whetever the situation calls for.
IIRC in the 2nd Philly game, he avoided a charge with a slight shift to his right as Embiid established position in the paint. Embiid then leaned to his left and was called for the foul. Early Brown goes straight into JE. JB's quickness, speed and now control are a joy to watch as his growth continues to generate pleasant surprises.
 

nighthob

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Jaylen is so athletic that he can legitimately create clear separation in the mid ranges with his improved handle. Defenders have to lay off him to keep him out of the paint. He gets more open looks from 12'-16' than anyone this side of early Rajon Rondo. That improvement in his handle has unlocked so much offense for him. He's getting supermaxed next time around.
 

Kliq

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Jaylen is so athletic that he can legitimately create clear separation in the mid ranges with his improved handle. Defenders have to lay off him to keep him out of the paint. He gets more open looks from 12'-16' than anyone this side of early Rajon Rondo. That improvement in his handle has unlocked so much offense for him. He's getting supermaxed next time around.
Yes; to me it is all about his handle improving. Mid-range shots have gotten a bad rap, and obviously you should avoid taking a two-point shot when you are three feet or less from the three point line, but pretty much every NBA star relies on 12-15 shots as part of their arsenal. Maybe not the Harden/Dame/Curry/Trae scorers, but anyone with size and athleticism like Durant, Kawhi, LeBron, Embiid, even Giannis, takes mid-range jumpers. With Jaylen's ball-handling improvement, he can basically get to any spot on the floor he wants, and if he can get to the elbows, he has the quickness, athleticism and strength to create enough space for an open look, even when closely guarded.

Part of me wonders if Jaylen watched The Last Dance and got inspired by Jordan's game. Post-baseball MJ pretty much lived off of those kind of mid-range shots.
 

radsoxfan

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I'm loving everything about Jaylen's offensive leap and think it's real.

His overall on/off court metrics (especially defensively) still don't seem to quite match up, but hopefully he gets there. He definitely has the athleticism to be above average on D, but he hasn't put it all together.

He rarely (if ever?) takes charges, gets caught out of position, and doesn't seem to be a very good help defender. His block and steal numbers are fairly meh also. When motivated he seems to be able to lock down guys pretty well, he just isn't that consistent.
 

benhogan

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I'm loving everything about Jaylen's offensive leap and think it's real.

His overall on/off court metrics (especially defensively) still don't seem to quite match up, but hopefully he gets there. He definitely has the athleticism to be above average on D, but he hasn't put it all together.

He rarely (if ever?) takes charges, gets caught out of position, and doesn't seem to be a very good help defender. His block and steal numbers are fairly meh also. When motivated he seems to be able to lock down guys pretty well, he just isn't that consistent.
JB is off the charts on offense. Phenomenal in transition, going to the rim, shooting 3s, mid-range is absurdly good, and still leaping with his handle/distributing. BUT the media builds him up as some sort of All-Defensive player and DPOY candidate. The National NBA media has no idea what they are talking about and say it quite often. Shockingly Jackie Mac throws it out there.

At best JB's an average defender. He's above-average on-ball (his wingspan helps disrupt on the perimeter). BUT below-average off-ball and loses his man too much. Really poor zone defender (as witnessed in playoffs last season). He also gets narrow down low, can't hold the block, and gets bullied around the rim. Marcus and Tatum are always instructing JB when in the zone because they know it confuses him.
 

NomarsFool

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BUT the media builds him up as some sort of All-Defensive player and DPOY candidate. The National NBA media has no idea what they are talking about and say it quite often. Shockingly Jackie Mac throws it out there.

At best JB's an average defender. He's above-average on-ball his wingspan helps disrupt on the perimeter, but below-average off-ball and loses his man too much. Really poor zone defender (as witnessed in playoffs last season). He also gets narrow down low, can't hold the block, and gets bullied around the rim. Marcus and Tatum are always instructing JB when in the zone because they know it confuses him.
I generally agree, except I would say he's above average. To say "at best" he's average, seems a bit harsh. He's terrible off-ball, but I feel like a lot of players are terrible off-ball - so it's hard to judge.
 

benhogan

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I generally agree, except I would say he's above average. To say "at best" he's average, seems a bit harsh. He's terrible off-ball, but I feel like a lot of players are terrible off-ball - so it's hard to judge.
Yea, maybe a bit harsh. I'm tougher on JB than most around here. Off-ball and defensive awareness are really important in Brad's scheme. Have to tag, release, switch a lot. With his size, strength and athleticism JB should be better around the rim IMO, so I probably criticize JB's defense too much.

Brown's defensive improvement is the key to multiple championships
 

Jimbodandy

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Yea, maybe a bit harsh. I'm tougher on JB than most around here. Off-ball and defensive awareness are really important in Brad's scheme. Have to tag, release, switch a lot. With his size, strength and athleticism JB should be better around the rim IMO, so I probably criticize JB's defense too much.

Brown's defensive improvement is the key to multiple championships
I'm as big of a Jaylen stan as there is. He's somewhere in the middle of the bell curve overall on D. Capable of great things and giving up easy baskets. But what's great about his D potential is that he has made steady progress there too. I don't see any reason why he shouldn't continue to improve. Probably not a ton of ceiling left, but awareness and anticipation, burning in the actions a bit better.. would help.
 

amarshal2

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Against the Spurs I saw multiple missed opportunities to box out that resulted in allowing an offensive rebound and a bucket. Little things like that can tank a +\- and in this case contributed to a close loss.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Against the Spurs I saw multiple missed opportunities to box out that resulted in allowing an offensive rebound and a bucket. Little things like that can tank a +\- and in this case contributed to a close loss.
There's a post on Cs blog about the defense that has a couple of clips about JB being beat to the bucket/ball. Although - and maybe this is just me - but JB has seemed to have less energy the last couple of games. Not a lot of facial expressions or extra movement.
 

BaseballJones

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So three questions:

(1) Who's better at this point: Jaylen or Tatum?
(2) Safe to say that Boston has two top-15 (at least) players now?
(3) If the answer to (2) is yes, what else needs to happen for this team to be a championship team? We've talked for years about how you need to have two superstars to win; and, well, they've got two superstars. What else do they need?
 

mikeot

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So three questions:

(1) Who's better at this point: Jaylen or Tatum?
(2) Safe to say that Boston has two top-15 (at least) players now?
(3) If the answer to (2) is yes, what else needs to happen for this team to be a championship team? We've talked for years about how you need to have two superstars to win; and, well, they've got two superstars. What else do they need?
Anwser to #3: a scary-good, old school big.
 

DannyDarwinism

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So three questions:

(1) Who's better at this point: Jaylen or Tatum?
(2) Safe to say that Boston has two top-15 (at least) players now?
(3) If the answer to (2) is yes, what else needs to happen for this team to be a championship team? We've talked for years about how you need to have two superstars to win; and, well, they've got two superstars. What else do they need?
I think Tatum’s still better and has the higher upside, but I’m not as confident about either as I was a month ago, which is absolutely bonkers. I just think there a pretty wide gap in terms of impactful defense that JB is unlikely to overcome given where they’re at now, and that JT is 18 months younger. JT is top 12, JB is top 20, and both are trending up.

I’d much prefer a modern big (switchy with range, Jaren Jackson type, if he learns team D) to an old-school big. Marcus is a great fit if he’s paired with a Kemba type creator, but generally a good point of attack defender who can shoot (PP has looked encouraging on both fronts to me) and a 3&D wing, i.e. the guy we’re hoping Nesmith can become.
 

Cesar Crespo

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So three questions:

(1) Who's better at this point: Jaylen or Tatum?
(2) Safe to say that Boston has two top-15 (at least) players now?
(3) If the answer to (2) is yes, what else needs to happen for this team to be a championship team? We've talked for years about how you need to have two superstars to win; and, well, they've got two superstars. What else do they need?
A 3 and D wing with size.
 

NomarsFool

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(3) If the answer to (2) is yes, what else needs to happen for this team to be a championship team? We've talked for years about how you need to have two superstars to win; and, well, they've got two superstars. What else do they need?
A little bit of the challenge is that while they have two top 15, they have zero top 5 or top 10 (at this point). I think they really need to have a solid 5 guys they can put on the floor to play 38 minutes of a playoff game (mostly together) and especially to close out games. I think they have 4 of them, but they are missing that 5th guy. I think it could be RWIII if he was given enough playing time during the regular season to develop. While I am a Theis fan, I just don't think he can be that guy because of his prolific propensity to foul. All of this assumes Kemba can continue to perform at a high level - which I'm hopeful he'll be able to do based on what we've seen so far.
 

lovegtm

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A 3 and D wing with size.
This. Emphasis on the 3, but the size and D also matter.

Aside from that, the main thing the team needs is for Brown and Tatum to both improve. Having two top-7 guys is way different from having two top-15 guys in terms of roster building possibilities. They're not there yet, but that's the path to title contention imo.
 

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I would love a recovering Jonathan Isaac this summer but there’s no path to getting him, unfortunately.
 

JakeRae

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So three questions:

(1) Who's better at this point: Jaylen or Tatum?
(2) Safe to say that Boston has two top-15 (at least) players now?
(3) If the answer to (2) is yes, what else needs to happen for this team to be a championship team? We've talked for years about how you need to have two superstars to win; and, well, they've got two superstars. What else do they need?
(1) As of today, right this second, it’s very close because Jaylen is playing at a level similar to where Tatum was close of last year. Two months from now, Tatum. Tatum will take another step forward and Brown will probably slide back a bit from his gigantic leap.

(2) Maybe. Brown needs to do this for a bit more time to be sure. We definitely have two top 20 players and Kemba is potentially in that range too.

(3) Brown to be this good and (a) Kemba to be healthy or (b) Tatum (Brown doing this would work to but isn’t likely) to become a top 5 player. Then we need some luck because the Nets and Lakers have loaded teams too. If the question is what do we need to have a team that would be a heavy favorite to win a title, the answer is an elite big, but that’s pretty much an impossible standard.
 

nighthob

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So three questions:

(1) Who's better at this point: Jaylen or Tatum?
(2) Safe to say that Boston has two top-15 (at least) players now?
(3) If the answer to (2) is yes, what else needs to happen for this team to be a championship team? We've talked for years about how you need to have two superstars to win; and, well, they've got two superstars. What else do they need?
(1) They're both headed for top 10 status this year.
(2) Yes.
(3) A taller Marcus Smart to plug in as the big wing next to the Jay-Crew or a more athletic one to soak up minutes at the 1 (nothing against Pritchard, but a long 6'4"/6'5" G that can handle, defend, and knock down treys would really make them a defensive nightmare for opponents). It's a pity that they had such rotten luck last year (the Grizzlies missed the entire tough stretch of their schedule and Ja Morant, whose size/game predicts injury, was healthy for the easier section of their schedule) because Tommy Harrison and Jalen Johnson are built for what Boston needs (especially Harrison at 6'9" 230 with a 7'2" wingspan, that's a C in deathtime lineups.).
 

chilidawg

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Who's Tommy Harrison? After not seeing him in the Tankathon Mock I googled him and nothing came up.

Skilled and long players are what they need. You can get away with a couple Pritchard/Walkers, but not 5 of them. A mobile 5 with more length and skill than we currently have (maybe TL grows into that), or a long 3/D wing. Neither of those guys are easy to find.
 

nighthob

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Sorry, Scotty Barnes. Covid19 produces spaciness in we older folk. (It seriously sucks, don't get it.)
 

nighthob

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I've been trying to figure out how I turned Scotty Barnes into a Harrison brother with a different name and I can't figure it out.
 

the moops

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a more athletic one to soak up minutes at the 1 (nothing against Pritchard, but a long 6'4"/6'5" G that can handle, defend, and knock down treys would really make them a defensive nightmare for opponents)
I can't help but dream of Lonzo getting traded to BOS and becoming that
 

nighthob

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I can't help but dream of Lonzo getting traded to BOS and becoming that
You know what, you're right, he actually would be ideal in Boston. He's made a big leap forward and a SmartBall backcourt would give other teams nightmares.
 

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I can't help but dream of Lonzo getting traded to BOS and becoming that
I was skeptical of last season’s 3pt improvement but he’s starting to come around. Hit 7 3’s last night and is up to 33% for the season. Obviously not great but trending up.

What do we think the cost to acquire his RFA rights would be? Sadly, Langford and a 1st likely wouldn’t be enough.
 

nighthob

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Well come the offseason it might be enough to sign & trade for him outright. The Pelicants might like him, but he is blocking other guys without providing enough to make his next contract worth it to them.
 

benhogan

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So three questions:

(1) Who's better at this point: Jaylen or Tatum?
(2) Safe to say that Boston has two top-15 (at least) players now?
(3) If the answer to (2) is yes, what else needs to happen for this team to be a championship team? We've talked for years about how you need to have two superstars to win; and, well, they've got two superstars. What else do they need?
1. offensively depends on the night. JT is better & more consistent on defense

2. JT is Top10 now. JB will be Top15 by the playoffs

3. Health luck is the most important thing. The C's make the Finals last season if Kemba/Hayward weren't injured. I'm a TimeLord believer and believe he could make a difference if worked into a starting role. PP should be the first sub in for Kemba, so KW can play big minutes against other teams 2nd units.
I wouldn't expect a huge addition. Someone like PJ Tucker would add some dawg this team needs. Plus he can nail corner 3's while JayCrew are elite above the break 3pt shooters. Wouldn't be shocked to see Danny retain most of the TPE and do some final touches around JayCrew this Summer.
 

the moops

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I put both Tatum and Brown in the 11-20 group. The top 10 seems hard to crack with the way some of these dudes are playing AD, Lebron, Jokic, Giannis, Kawhi, Dame, Curry, Durant, Harden, Embiid
 

lovegtm

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I put both Tatum and Brown in the 11-20 group. The top 10 seems hard to crack with the way some of these dudes are playing AD, Lebron, Jokic, Giannis, Kawhi, Dame, Curry, Durant, Harden, Embiid
Sure, they're not there yet, but if anyone can crack it, it's going to be guys who are still young and have high rates of improvement. Tatum and Brown are as good bets as anyone--people need to take a step back and look at how far they've come in just one calendar year. It's very hard to bet against them hitting that tier imo.
 

DannyDarwinism

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Sure, they're not there yet, but if anyone can crack it, it's going to be guys who are still young and have high rates of improvement. Tatum and Brown are as good bets as anyone--people need to take a step back and look at how far they've come in just one calendar year. It's very hard to bet against them hitting that tier imo.
In the “how far they’ve come” realm, it’s funny to look back at some of they guys they’d be compared against over the past couple of years. Jaylen has now surpassed a lot of the guys people used to put up against Tatum. Some of them were bad at the time and are now downright laughable (lol Kuzma) but Simmons, Ingram, Siakam, Mitchell, Zion, and MPJ are all guys who used to get debated against JT that I’d now have to think hard about putting up against JB.
 

lovegtm

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In the “how far they’ve come” realm, it’s funny to look back at some of they guys they’d be compared against over the past couple of years. Jaylen has now surpassed a lot of the guys people used to put up against Tatum. Some of them were bad at the time and are now downright laughable (lol Kuzma) but Simmons, Ingram, Siakam, Mitchell, Zion, and MPJ are all guys who used to get debated against JT that I’d now have to think hard about putting up against JB.
Yeah, I don't think it's homerism to say that it would be very, very hard to take any of those guys over JB. He has consistently shown this year that he's a legit #1 scoring option against good defenses, and that's the most premium skill there is.
 

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I think you could make the case for Simmons, Ingram, Mitchell, or Zion still.

Zion still has more upside---though, personally, I'd rather have Jaylen. Zion is neither as complete a player nor anywhere near the competitor.

Ingram is an interesting question, to me defensively the gap is so big I just can't go there. But Ingram does have upside remaining.

I would take Mitchell over Brown; he's a legit alpha scorer and while you give back some on defense he's carrying an offense in a way I am still not sure Jaylen will (though it is not impossible he'll prove me wrong there)

Simmons, well, we've debated him endlessly here and elsehwere. I'd take Jaylen at this point for a bunch of reasons but I would guess there's still a set of GMs who wonder what Simmons is in a different scheme, without Embiid, and where you really build around his ability to drive the break and surround him with shooters. He's better at everything other than shooting than Jaylen, and while the gap there is awfully impactful (and the differences in their growth rates equally impactful thinking forward) I bet some guys still have the faith
 

lovegtm

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I think you could make the case for Simmons, Ingram, Mitchell, or Zion still.

Zion still has more upside---though, personally, I'd rather have Jaylen. Zion is neither as complete a player nor anywhere near the competitor.

Ingram is an interesting question, to me defensively the gap is so big I just can't go there. But Ingram does have upside remaining.

I would take Mitchell over Brown; he's a legit alpha scorer and while you give back some on defense he's carrying an offense in a way I am still not sure Jaylen will (though it is not impossible he'll prove me wrong there)

Simmons, well, we've debated him endlessly here and elsehwere. I'd take Jaylen at this point for a bunch of reasons but I would guess there's still a set of GMs who wonder what Simmons is in a different scheme, without Embiid, and where you really build around his ability to drive the break and surround him with shooters. He's better at everything other than shooting than Jaylen, and while the gap there is awfully impactful (and the differences in their growth rates equally impactful thinking forward) I bet some guys still have the faith
I can see taking Mitchell before Jaylen’s latest leap, but I don’t know that it’s even that close now. Jaylen is destroying Mitchell efficiency-wise on similar usage, while playing a much more valuable defensive position due to his size.

It’s nice that Mitchell can bring the ball up the floor and initiate, but the Celtics have proven concept on running an offense through Tatum/Brown while Kemba/Smart/PP initiate at the point of attack. It’s not much of a limiting factor on Brown’s usage.

I do like Mitchell, and he’s a sleeper candidate to join the Js in 4 years.
 

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On the other hand, Mitchell has carried an offense for multiple years, including effectively in the playoffs, and at absolute most Brown has done that for about the last month. That track record difference matters.

Advanced metrics prefer Mitchell, which is worth something (but only something).

I think you have it backwards a bit--there was not a credible, non-fanboy argument for Jaylen over Mitchell until the recent leap. Now, I think there can be and the reasons you state are reasonable. I still lean the other way, but by end of regular season this year might be on your side if things continue as they have been.