During an incredible NBA Finals run by the Celtics in 2022, we can say clearly that the obvious leader and catalyst for this success is Jayson Tatum. The best player on the team, the elite scorer, the highlight creator. Tatum has been lighting up the NBA playoffs and has continued this throughout the Finals.
Although JT has been the fireworks show of the Celtics, the one who lit the fuse is none other than Jaylen Brown. Jaylen has been the perfect piece of consistency for this team, a player who you never doubt will drop 18 points, play elite on-ball defense, and make the right plays.
Jaylen not only holds his own in almost every major category on offense and defense, but the fact that on a nightly basis you never have to worry about his production is something you can’t find in many players. JT is one of the best players in basketball, but on multiple nights during the Playoffs, we see him shoot incredibly inefficiently, and the one who carries the team to a hard fought win is Jaylen Brown.
A Look at the Stats
At a base level, Jaylen Brown is playing like the best player on the Celtics. As of game 4, he’s averaging the most points and rebounds and is top 3 in assists and FT%. He crashes the boards, makes plays on offense, and makes his shots behind the arc and on the line.
What I love the most about his play is his consistency. Brown had only one game below 20 points from Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals until Game 4 of the Finals. His only game below that mark was a 17 point, 6 rebound, 3 assist game in which he still had a dominating performance.
Although every other night Tatum puts on a show, it’s only every other night. Not a lot of guys can be considered one of the best scorers in the league and almost score in the single digits in two games since the ECF. Brown, however, hasn’t had these problems. With a consistent 20 points, 5 rebounds and a few assists during the playoffs, he can really make a statement to the league.
What We Need To See
As this star studded Celtics team keeps winning games, we need to see Brown take on the role as a ‘safety net’. Being reliable is what is going to bring him to the promised land, and he needs to always be ready when Tatum has a bad night.
The way Brown is playing, I feel as though losing him would have more of an impact on the team than losing anyone else. His play is vital for the Celtics success. If he can prove this by keeping the C’s in play during an off night by Tatum, Smart and Horford, he can prove to the NBA fans and voters that he deserves to obtain one of the biggest accomplishments in basketball.
JB is a swiss army knife. He plays great defense, his off ball energy is incredible, and he makes the tough shots when he needs to. He is, simply, a master of all trades, jack of none. With one of the most underrated playoff performances so far, Brown has a very strong case to win the NBA Finals MVP.
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