Pull Up Shoot… Jaylen Brown

Throughout the entirety of the Celtics season they’ve played similar to a person with a personality disorder. One minute everything is fine. The ball is finding the bottom of the net, passes are extremely crisp and seems like everyone has their dribbling down to a science. The literal next minute the offense becomes subject to multiple hijackings, bad shot selection and ball movement. Heading into the first round series versus the scrappy Indiana Pacers missing their superstar and lone offensive spark Victor Oladipo. I believed their chases to upset the more talented Celtics because Indiana, for their lack of individual athleticism, at least they played like a team. A tired old cliche for sure, but right nonetheless.

So why have they failed to even win a game thus far? Simple. They don’t have any answer for the likes of Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum, and eventually Jaylen Brown when he got going in Game 3. Are the Celtics dramatically better coached than they were in the regular season? No. The minutes distribution is better spread out. Upping Gordon Hayward and Brown’s minutes to 30 per game for the series after playing bit roles coming off the bench for the bulk of the regular season. But the same complaints I’ve had towards Stevens remain prominent. Brown absolutely had a ball in Game 3. Scoring a game-high 23 points on only nine shot attempts. In contrast, Morris attempted eight shots coming off the bench.

Why is this happening? How come Stevens cannot figure out how to simply feed the hot hand and cease turning to the frigid hand? It’s difficult to control every possession and to have players break out of bad habits they’ve developed over the years they spent in the professional ranks. Maybe coaching isn’t exactly to blame for why Brown isn’t more aggressive and willing to shoot, maybe it is Brown himself. Like Tatum the third-year forward from California State is mature, reserved and wise. A calming presence no doubt. In my three years of watching Brown play for Boston I’ve never thought to myself “Okay, you need to stop shooting now.” He knows when he doesn’t have his fastball on a particular night.

In contrast, Morris doesn’t know the meaning of the word “slump” a 2 for 11 game is all the same as a 8 for 10 outing. Both sides of the spectrum can be admired by the fans. Both equally hurtful to a teams high aspirations. I’ve been critical of Brown’s shot the first two games of this series, but that’s because I’m a pessimistic, miserable prick unable to listen to reason while I am in the middle of one of my freak outs. If you ever wondered what Boston sees in a potential future if they choose to build around The Jays, look at that game. We have issues with Tatum taking long-twos, but it’s not like they weren’t open shots. Indiana could not succeed in double-teaming because it was a given one of the other Celtics would leak out and nail the outside shot or sneak under the basket for the easy lay-in.

When he is going Jaylen Brown’s stroke is unbelievably smooth. Given a head of steam coming down full court he is a terror to guard. You can try to foul him but he may just pass you before you can.

We saw a semi-aggressive Brown in Game 3. He’s been so all series, only in different ways. Hustling on defense, gunning for loose balls and battling for rebounds against the likes of Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis and Thaddeus Young. Game 3 was the first time his fingertips let loose some fire. If this is the Brown we are going to see in future games this playoffs then just book the Celtics ticket to the finals now because this team is dangerous when they can get that crucial third player involved. If only Brown would take the initiative.

Author: sailboatstudios

Hack. Amateur. Professional quitter.

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