Boston Celtics fans have been hyped for the potential of their young duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and while last season Tatum made the leap earning his first All-Star berth, 2020-21 looks like it could well be Brown's coming out party.
Through four seasons in the NBA, Brown has developed into one of the league's best perimeter defenders, but in Year 5, his offensive game is quickly catching up, with Wednesday's 126-107 win over the Memphis Grizzlies proving as much.
Playing just 29 minutes through three quarters, Brown recorded a new career-high of 42 points on a scorching 15-of-21 from the field and 7-of-10 from the 3-point line - the most threes he's hit in a game since 2017.
He added five rebounds, four assists and one steal turning in a strong two-way performance in a game that marked the third time this season he's led the Celtics in scoring.
Jaylen Brown tonight:- StatMuse (@statmuse) December 31, 2020
42 PTS (career-high)
He joins Paul Pierce, Jayson Tatum and Antoine Walker as the only Celtics since 2000 to put up 40 points in a game before turning 25. pic.twitter.com/deulIyIYJp
He joins Paul Pierce, Jayson Tatum and Antoine Walker as the only Celtics players since 2000 to score 40 points in a game before turning 25.
In the absence of Kemba Walker, who is yet to suit up this season as he recovers from a knee injury and 'won't be back any time soon', according to head coach Brad Stevens, the Celtics have turned to Brown to fill the offensive gap, a role he's taken with both hands.
"I'm accepting the challenge, Brown said postgame.
"A lot of people didn't think I would be up to it and I just try to get better every year, that's what it's about for me, just growth and learning and stuff like that we still got a lot of work ahead of us, but we're moving in the right direction."
Through five games, Brown is averaging 28.0 points 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.8 steals on 56.3 percent shooting from the field and 44.0 percent from beyond the arc on five attempts per game.
Stevens on Jaylen Brown: "He's got a lot on his plate. He wants to have a lot on his plate. That's good." pic.twitter.com/IFE1v7JijJ- Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 31, 2020
As he continues to develop his game, this season he has made great strides as a playmaker, benefitting from having the ball in his hands more, with his usage rate climbing to 28.4% this season up from 24.7 in 2019-20... and his coach couldn't be more pleased to see the progression from one of his young franchise cornerstones.
"i just think he works hard at everything, Brad Stevens said postgame.
"He's a good player, I think that finishing has improved so much since college, his shooting was probably not as highly thought of as it should have been coming out of the draft, but certainly has got a lot better, and just his reads and everything else, he's just really improved, he's worked hard to improve. He's got a lot on his plate, he wants to have a lot on his plate, so that's good."
Round of applause for tonight's @Gatorade Player of the Game, @FCHWPO 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/sFprH3ouKu- Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 31, 2020
While the season is still young, the 24-year-old has quickly emerged as a Most Improved Player of the Year candidate. Could a maiden All-Star berth follow?
For Celtics fans, the sight of Brown terrorising defences is something they can get used to for years to come
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