Jaylen Brown: New season, new attitude, improved game
A star is on the rise in Boston and his name is Jaylen Brown.
Indeed, in their fourth-year shooting guard, the Celtics have a budding elite two-way player who can hit clutch shot after clutch shot, shut down opposing wings and dominate games. That he’s in the midst of a career year is well-timed, given the C’s aspirations to make a deep postseason run.
His performance this season stands in stark contrast to a year ago, when his frustration over reduced playing time began to seep into his numbers: 13.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 34 percent from three-point range. It also showed up in his attitude, which he has described as “fed up,” and an on-court demeanor that prompted one opposing player to ask him if he was OK. He wound up taking some of the blame for the Celts’ early exit from the playoffs.
But from that adversity came maturity. Brown began shutting out the critics and naysayers and focused on improving his game, putting in beastly summer workouts and practice sessions. The stats so far this year reflect that hard work: 20.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while shooting nearly 38 percent from downtown.
The result is two Player of the Week awards (at this writing) this season and a narrow miss for an All-Star selection. And with the Celtics holding onto the No. 3 playoff seed in the East, the expectation is that Brown will once again be a key contributor in their drive for the NBA Finals.
Brown and the Celtics can be seen in action three times this week: Sunday, Feb. 23, on ABC, visiting the Los Angeles Lakers; Wednesday, Feb. 26, on ESPN, at the Utah Jazz; and Saturday, Feb. 29, on ABC, hosting the Houston Rockets.
Birth date: Oct. 24, 1996
Birthplace: Marietta, Ga.
Height/weight: 6 feet, 6 inches/223 pounds
Teams: Boston Celtics (2016-present)
Draft: Selected in the first round (third overall) by the Celtics in 2016
Position: Shooting guard
Honors and achievements: NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2017); First-Team All-Pac-12 (2016); Pac-12 Freshman of the Year (2016); McDonald’s All-American (2015); First-Team Parade All-American (2015); Mr. Georgia Basketball (2015); gold medal at the FIBAS All-American Under-18 Championship (2014)