The Boston Celtics are coming off an excellent 2022 NBA Finals run, wherein they build on it and reclaim their glory in the Eastern Conference. Their 2023 campaign began on a special note, and they have seemed to stable the ship despite the tough stretches they endured in January and March. One primary reason for their success is the consistent and stellar play of Jaylen Brown.
Brown is averaging a career-best 26.7 PPG, 6.4 RPG, and 3.4 APG. He was selected for the second All-Star Game appearance of his inspiring NBA career, and he will build on that for their postseason run. Jaylen Brown will be a free agent in 2024, and many individuals have speculated that he might not want to stay in Boston for the long term.
If Brown does indeed capture an All-NBA slot this year, he will be eligible for a five-year, $290 million super-max contract extension, which is a bag that no other organization can come close to offering him.
Jaylen Brown’s usage is up, but efficiency remains
Many squads focus on a heliocentric approach by revolving many of their schemes on their star players. Over the past two seasons, Jaylen Brown’s usage has been over 30%, but it does not affect his percentages and efficiency. His true shooting percentage last year was 57.4%, and now it is even at a higher rate of 58.5%.
Brown’s two-point percentage and free-throw shooting have been the main reason for the rapid increase in his production. The ball handling of Jaylen Brown was heavily criticized in the postseason, but his handle is tighter this year, and it is more difficult for opponents to strip it away from him. One incredible stat on Basketball Reference that encapsulates Brown’s ultra-aggressiveness is his 62 dunks converted, a far cry from his 31 jams last year.
Winning is key
When there are debates and arguments on particular awards, the winning record of their specific franchise can be the deciding factor for voters. Jaylen Brown’s elite performance this year is not due to the so-called “empty stats” because the Celtics continue to become one of the top-tier squads in the NBA. For instance, there were critical games against the New York Knicks or Miami Heat earlier this year where Brown could not suit up, and the Celtics suffered unfortunate losses.
His value on the team is tremendous, and there have been games wherein Brown carries the scoring load. Jayson Tatum had a slow start from the All-Star break, while guys like Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III have not had the best campaign for the Celtics. With a couple of games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the No. 1 seed, Brown will have his case sealed if Boston can overtake the Bucks.
Two-way prowess and availability
Some of the contenders at the forward spot for an All-NBA team are not as talented as Jaylen Brown on the defensive end. Lauri Markkanen is one serious candidate for an All-NBA spot, but Brown is a much more superior defender than him. Conversely, if Brown is chosen as a guard, he will play much better defense than guys like Jalen Brunson or Damian Lillard.
Even if Brown gets some of the most challenging assignments, his health remains top-notch. Brown has played 66 games with four more contests remaining. That gives him a clear edge over guys like Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Kawhi Leonard. It is evident that these three stars have better careers than Brown, but Jaylen Brown’s impeccable 2023 production must lock him up for that super max extension in the offseason.
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