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Posting up with Jaylen Brown

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The third overall pick out of Cal is already showing some promising skills.

NBA: Preseason-New York Knicks at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Posting up in the NBA is generally left to the bruisers—big men like Zach Randolph and Al Jefferson establishing position on the block and powering their way to the rim. So it might come as a surprise to see Jaylen Brown getting some post touches this preseason. Brown is known for his freakish athleticism, but he’s showing that he can bang down low as well.

He got a few post looks against the Nets earlier this week. Brown had a natural size advantage over the 6’4” Sean Kilpatrick, so the Celtics tried to exploit that mismatch.

The play starts with a basic motion across the baseline. Brown quickly darts in front of his man, leaving him in good position to receive the pass. He takes a short dribble, fakes inside, then spins to finish over the shorter Kilpatrick.

Brown’s explosiveness is an important part of his post game. Just 19 years old, he’s not strong enough yet to back down every defender. Matched up with Kristaps Porzingis here, Brown uses his quickness to create space for his shot.

He dribbles into the body of Porzingis, then spins out for the fadeaway jumper. The play happens a little too quick to call it a pure post-up, but it shows off a variety to his game. This versatility is especially important given his struggles finishing at the rim against the Knicks.

Brown’s work ethic is widely known, so it’s no surprise that he’s putting in the effort to improve his skills. Asked about his post-up game, Brown said:

“I work on it a lot. I think that’s where my bread and butter is. I feel really comfortable in the post. Just gotta work on timing with space and stuff like that and just keep getting better at it. But yeah, I got a few post-up calls and we were able to get something out of it.”

Jaylen Brown is still raw, so the results might not come right away. But he’s already developing a diverse skill set that will help the Celtics this season and into the future.