clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jaylen Brown: Put me in, Coach

Why Jaylen Brown should get more run for the Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs

NBA: Playoffs-Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

As Brad Stevens tinkers with the lineup to figure out how to close out this series against the Wizards, I have a proposition for him: give Jaylen Brown more minutes at the 4.

At 6’7”, 225 lbs., and a 7-foot wingspan, Brown can bang inside with Markieff Morris while still having the quickness to put pressure on both ends of the floor on his matchups including Morris, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Kelly Oubre Jr. He can do a little bit of everything, and the swiss-army-knife quality he provides is exactly why Celtics fans are so high on him. Here are a few examples of what he brings to the table:

At 20 years old, Brown is a world-class athlete, but he also has a high basketball IQ. On this possession above, he stays with the play even after falling down and, with Avery Bradley in his sights, has the presence of mind to throw the ball to Bradley for an easy bucket rather than ricochet the ball off of a Wizards player. In the process, Brown contributed to the Celtics’ huge run.

Brown is a threat to score and make a play with his athleticism and IQ at any point. In the above play, he causes both Wizards players guarding him to defend against his cut along the baseline, leaving Jae Crowder a little space off of the screen. It doesn’t hurt that the Washington defense was a bit out of sorts here too.

While he came into the league with questions about his shooting, Brown shot 43% from 3-point range over a 17-game stretch that spanned February and went through the first half of March. He also hit on 38% of his attempts from deep over his last 10 games of the regular season, providing the Celtics with a floor-stretching ability that Amir Johnson doesn’t have. On this play, Brown keeps Morris honest, forcing Ian Mahinmi to defend Al Horford. With this team, the more spacing the better, whether it’s making room for IT to operate or for Horford to pick a defense apart with his decision making from the post.

HE’S NOT AFRAID TO GO FOR THE JUGULAR. With less than six minutes left in a blowout, Brown was aware enough to cut when he saw the entry pass to Smart and, even though his team is up 21 points, he tries to delete Jason Smith.

Jaylen Brown’s development matters for the future of this team, but it also matters for the present. Stevens hasn’t given him a long leash at other points in this playoff run, but after 26 minutes last night, it’s looking like it’s time to let the kid play.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Celtics Blog Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Boston Celtics news from Celtics Blog