The Boston Celtics have a roster full of talent on a team led by Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum. Jaylen Brown is the third-best player this season.
The Boston Celtics have a roster full of players who could probably be starters on other teams around the league. Danny Ainge, president of basketball operations for the Celtics, has done an excellent job of improving the overall team each year since 2013 when Brad Stevens took over as head coach for Boston.
This season, however, has been the most well strung together team in the Stevens coaching era. In just the first season of acquiring another all-star point guard in Kemba Walker, the morale and quality of the team quickly reset in a way that many thought wouldn’t be possible, as well as finally getting their first and much-needed positive season out of Gordon Hayward.
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Also, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have improved their all-around game this season and both are proving to be strong pillars for this franchise. Tatum, who made the All-Star team for the first time this season, and Brown, are both averaging over 20 points per game for the first time in their young careers. It’s worth mentioning that Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis have also been surprisingly impressive this season too.
With all of this in consideration, who is the third-best player on the Boston Celtics this season?
After having to take a backseat type of role last year, Brown has to be considered at least the third-best player on the Celtics this season. He is averaging 20.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game this season. His 20 points per game are good for the third-highest on the team behind Tatum and Walker.
The biggest difference this season has been Brown’s improved scoring ability around the basket and overall confidence in taking his shots this season. Brown has worked extremely hard to become efficient in using his off-hand this season and it’s worked out well for him so far. He has a career-high offensive rating this season of 113.4.
The other difference in Brown’s performance this season is his much improved defensive intensity. Brown noticeably raised his level of defensive pressure this season and it has definitely impacted the outcome of games. His improved skills as an on-ball defender is something that Brown takes great pride in and tries to lead the team on the defensive end when Smart isn’t out there with him.
In addition to Brown’s improved defensive abilities, he has an impressive 14.8 defensive rebound percentage as well as a defensive rating of 107.6 which are both career highs for the fourth-year guard.
Brown has also proved to be extremely relaxed throughout the duration of a game and often defers to his teammates, but at the same time, he understands when it’s his time to let the ball fly and he doesn’t hesitate in doing so.
A perfect example of this is in the C’s most recent game against the Houston Rockets. Brown hit the game-tying 3-point buzzer-beater to send the game into overtime. The Celtics went on to lose the game by one point but Brown showed he is built for big-time moments like that.
Another improved element in Brown’s game is his free throw shooting. Brown has a 73.6 free throw percentage this season which is the highest in his career but is still on the lower end in comparison to his teammates.
For the moment, Tatum has surpassed Brown in terms of stardom, but that doesn’t mean that Brown isn’t one of the most improved players on the Boston Celtics this season. Taking it one step further, if Walker wasn’t on the team there’s a chance that Brown would be labeled as the second-best player on the team.