Photo: Flip Board
By: Patrick Whalen
2018-19 Report Card:
Our latest installment of Celtic Report Cards features the other young star that will be heading into his 4th NBA season. Yes, Jaylen Brown had an up and down year in his 3rd season and much like Jayson Tatum his game took a step back because of his chemistry clash with Kyrie Irving after a promising 2017-18 playoff run.
The biggest step back for Jaylen last season was his demotion to the bench as he started just 25 games last season after starting all 70 he played in during the 2017-18 season. His minutes per game average also dropped from 30.7 to 25.9 minutes per game. Despite the drop in overall usage some of Jaylen’s numbers remained similar to his 2017-18 stats as a full-time starter. His shooting percentage exactly the same at 46.5%, his rebounds per game only dropped from 4.9 to 4.2, and his assists per game were nearly identical as it only dropped by 0.2 to 1.4 per game. Plus, with his bench role, a scoring drop was expected but his scoring average only dropped from 14.5 to 13. The biggest part of Jaylen’s game that took a hit was his three-point shooting percentage. In 2017-18 Jaylen had his three-point percentage jump by over 5% to 39.5%. But this year his three-point percentage almost fully regressed back to his rookie numbers as he only shot 34.4% from downtown. The other part of Brown’s game that is still needing improvement, and has been his weak point since his rookie season, is his free throw shooting percentage. Last season his percentage did go up slightly but he still only shot 65.8% from the foul line which was well below the league average of 76.6%.
Coming into this most people anticipated Jaylen taking a big step growth-wise after the promise he showed towards the end of last season. But between Kyrie and Gordon Hayward taking some of his shots and minutes and Marcus Smart becoming the starting shooting guard for the majority of the season a step forward for Jaylen just was not in the cards between those cuts into his minutes and the well-documented chemistry issues with Kyrie. But, again like Tatum, the environment didn’t foster an atmosphere for him to succeed so I’m giving Brown’s 2018-19 season a B. This mostly because most of his stats stayed relatively the same despite being sent to the bench and having his minutes cut. Plus, it has been rumored that the chemistry issues between Kyrie and Jaylen were the worst on the team. But, despite those issues, he still needs to improve his overall shooting numbers if he wants to take that next step as a player and regain his starting role.
Final Grade: B
For Jaylen, I’m expecting a season that shows a lot of signs of growth in 2019-20. He is already creating good team chemistry with new teammate Kemba Walker as he is playing on team USA’s FIBA world cup team with him, Tatum, and Marcus Smart. It already looks like they’re having fun and forming a good bond with their new teammate.
Plus with the offseason losses of Marcus Morris Sr and Terry Rozier, this will give Jaylen more minutes as he is now one of the older, veteran options for the Celtics on the wing. Also, some of the videos coming out of USA camp are just Jaylen putting some of the best young players in the game through a blender and finishing with some explosive dunks. I believe that Jaylen will take back his starting role this season which will also give him a few more minutes to increase his stats. The main thing I believe will happen is that Jaylen will be able to get into more of a rhythm as a starter and without Kyrie around especially with his three-point percentage. I think this season will be a rebound season for Brown as he’ll return to his 2017-18 form and maybe even surpass that mark.
Predictions for 2019-20:
PPG: 14.7 RPG: 4.4 APG: 1.6 MPG: 29.8 FG%: 47.3 3P%: 38.2% FT%: 72.3% TS%: 55.8%
Now let’s take a look back at some of Jaylen’s 2018-19 highlights which included some major dunks.