For Jaylen Brown, the secret to success is balancing aggressiveness with poise.
When he’s aggressive, but out of control, he tends to spiral. When he’s poised but doesn’t relentlessly attack the rim, he loses the essence of what makes him sparkle.
In the Celtics’ 117-94 triumph over the Raptors on Saturday, Brown struck that balance perfectly. He poured in a game-high 29 points, on 12-of-20 shooting, threw down three dunks and made a sweet move with his left hand. All that accompanied just two turnovers.
Check out these three dunks. On the first in the video, Brown finds an opening, attacks the glass and delivers a monstrous putback. That’s just good court awareness, hustle and pouncing on a disorganized team.
On the next, he runs with Jayson Tatum, rises up and throws it down. Tatum makes the right read, and Brown finishes with authority. Finally, Brown corrals a pass from Al Horford, beats rookie Gradey Dick off the dribble with ease and stuffs it without much resistance.
Dunks won’t always come this easily, but the principle remains the same regardless of the opponent or score. When Brown is decisive, doesn’t overthink the situation and goes from A to B with fluidity, he scores more often than not.
It wasn’t just the dunks, though. On the play below, he fakes right and makes a quick move with his left hand, bursts past multiple defenders and lays it up and in for two. That’s right; a lefty drive, and he shows no signs of coming close to losing the ball.
Working on a weakness in a lopsided game is smart. Brown is fully capable; it’s all about consistency.
Brown’s shot chart is a thing of beauty. He scored nine times from either inside or just outside the paint. He shot a very respectable 3 of 8 from 3 and didn’t attempt a single mid-range shot.
This came after he shot 10 of 19 from the field, and 5 of 9 from 3, in a 28-point effort against Brooklyn the night prior. After a streaky start to the season, it appears Brown has found his rhythm.
He’s not going to be perfect every night, but having the perfect mindset like he did Saturday could go a long way.