Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

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Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by bobheckler on Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:47 pm

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/celtics/2017/06/murphy_like_jaylen_brown_markelle_fultz_proves_there_s_good_among_the_bad



Murphy: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad




Mark Murphy


Sunday, June 11, 2017




Credit: Chris Christo
Celtics Jaylen Brown is fouled by the Heat's Tyler Johnson during their game at TD Garden. March 26, 2017 Staff photo Chris Christo




Had Ben Simmons spent his only collegiate season playing for a legitimate NCAA power, which Louisiana State certainly was not, early opinions of his ability to win would have been quite different.

“I’m pretty sure that if Ben Simmons went to Kentucky or Duke, they would have won every game with him,” said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who does not buy into the question that dogged Philadelphia’s Simmons and to some extent the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown as they were assessed for the NBA draft.

Why didn’t they impact winning more? That question has now been applied to Markelle Fultz, the player most likely taken by the Celtics with the top pick in the June 22 draft. Though the point guard finished his career at Washington with sterling numbers that included a 23.2 scoring average, the Huskies won just nine games.

As such Fultz’ leadership potential has been debated. And that would be wrong, Ainge said.

“I don’t know why we do that,” he said of tying a young prospect’s upside to winning. “Impacting winning takes more than one player. If you’re talking about 25-year-olds, or 22-year-olds coming out of college, then maybe there would be more emphasis put on that.”

Fultz, like Brown last year, will be 19 when he is drafted. There are other ways to evaluate this kind of superior young talent, though as Ainge admits, the process isn’t as simple as, say, watching how fellow lottery prospects Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox functioned at Kentucky.

Brown was left to carry the University of California offense without much in the way of spacing or other capable options. As a freshman star he was given the ball and expected to score despite overloading by the other team.

Brown’s shot selection was questioned, and his 29.1 3-point percentage contributed to the belief that as athletic and explosive as he was, the young forward had limited promise as a stretch shooter.

That promise wouldn’t peek through until Brown earned his way into the Celtics rotation, and with the sudden luxury of space started nailing his corner jumpers.


Fultz was in a similar or worse predicament at Washington. Brown at least had Ivan Rabb, the raw young big man who figures to go somewhere in the middle of the first round this year.

Fultz was featured on a bad Washington team that couldn’t make headway with another talented freshman in Marquese Chriss a year earlier. Coach Lorenzo Romar, fired at the end of the season, hadn’t been able to build a successful team since Isaiah Thomas took the Huskies to the NCAA tournament.

Against that backdrop, Fultz began his college career with a game that defined the youngster’s relationship with his new team.

The Huskies lost at home to Yale in their season opener. To be clear, Yale has a reputation for beating the occasional major conference opponent. But this was no way to start with the most highly regarded freshman in college basketball.

Fultz certainly did his part in a 36-minute run, shooting 11-for-17, hitting a pair of 3’s and shooting 6-for-10 from the line as the crux of a 30-point, six-assist debut.

And where Brown’s freshman production was limited — his scoring average was 14.2 — Fultz still managed to get his numbers despite the same congested, overloaded conditions.

“The difference between Jaylen and Markelle is that Markelle still put up great numbers,” said Ainge, turning to another sport for an analogy.

“I liken it to Markelle being a quarterback on a bad football team, but still throwing for 400 yards a game,” Ainge said. “And Jaylen would have been the great wide receiver on a team that spent all of its time running the ball.

“I was never concerned with Jaylen’s shot selection, and maybe that’s because I watched him a lot, going back to high school. I didn’t worry about a 19-year-old kid’s shot selection — don’t really notice that, though believe me, I’ve questioned that in a lot of players.”

That’s why the best prospects are well-scouted by the NBA before they ever leave high school and AAU basketball.

“We had determined who they were long before they got to their college situations,” Ainge said of Fultz and Brown. “You look at things like USA Basketball and AAU. You say the same about Ben Simmons — really talented players on losing teams. You already know who they are.

“But basketball is a team game. Players have to be put in the right situations.”

Brown’s rise to the third pick in last year’s draft also owned much not only to his athleticism, but his grown man physique.

The 6-foot-4 Fultz, too, has all of the physical attributes required to help a prospect contribute early, including a 6-10 wing span. But he’ll need more work in that area. Brown, like Marcus Smart before him, was ready for the grind from his first day.

“That helps a lot, and Jaylen had a man’s body and physique,” Ainge said. “He was physically and emotionally older than his age. I feel it helps him a ton. He just had to learn an awful lot about the game. It helped him defensively and offensively. He handled a 100-game season in great fashion. He really played well.”

Fultz will face more in the way of the physical and emotional challenges of the NBA.

“Markelle is about a year younger than Jaylen was,” Ainge said. “He’s not as strong. He does have a good body, but it needs work.”

But Fultz will arrive with twice the offensive polish, and an ability to score and create from virtually every spot on the floor.

“I would agree with that, and as a freshman in college, that’s pretty rare to have,” Ainge said. “He scored (23.2 per game), and we don’t see that a lot.

“Markelle loved his college coach and teammates. He thought they had more talent on that team than their record showed. He had some very impressive performances, though.”




bob



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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by red16russ11 on Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:24 pm

Amen on that one, Bob.
Sounds like Danny is already convincing us why he took the kid!
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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:18 pm

I would say the decision has been made, all we need is the lights and the action of the Draft night to finish off what is going to be an exciting time in Boston Celtics basketball
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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by dboss on Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:37 pm

RosalieTCeltics wrote:I would say the decision has been made, all we need is the lights and the action of the Draft night to finish off what is going to be an exciting time in Boston Celtics basketball

Amen

All the signs point to Fultz.  The first #1 pick in Celtics history.

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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by NYCelt on Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:25 pm

At last, a reasonable article pointing out the upside instead of denigrating Fultz for what no player can control. Mark Murphy looked at the situation for it's positives, of which there are many in support of Fultz' game.

Nice find Bob!
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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by fierce on Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:53 pm

Fultz all the way!
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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by gyso on Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:25 pm

fierce wrote:Fultz all the way!

Fultz speed ahead!

(Sorry, I couldn't help it) Very Happy

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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by fierce on Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:47 am

gyso wrote:
fierce wrote:Fultz all the way!

Fultz speed ahead!

(Sorry, I couldn't help it) Very Happy


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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by Rmbone on Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:53 am

Fultz stop.

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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by gyso on Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:00 am

Rmbone wrote:Fultz stop.

As our namesake Sam Jones used to say to Wilt, "too late!".

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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by NYCelt on Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:28 am

I'm trying to decide who wins here.

gyso for his typically sharp and well timed one-liner, or fierce of that enormous emoji that nearly sent me running for sunglasses.
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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by bobheckler on Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:23 am

NYCelt wrote:I'm trying to decide who wins here.

gyso for his typically sharp and well timed one-liner, or fierce of that enormous emoji that nearly sent me running for sunglasses.


NYCelt,

I'm used to gyso's dry wit by now, having smirked my way through many years of it, but that emoji rocked me back in my seat.


bob


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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by red16russ11 on Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:45 am

Call it a draw
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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:45 pm

i can't pick sides, it's a draw. Even though I am used to Gyso's dry wit, he always brings a smile to my face. And when I turned to fierce's emoji, i was overcome with laughter.
So...............it's a draw
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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by NYCelt on Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:32 pm

Sounds like the judges have ruled it a draw!
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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

Post by gyso on Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:02 pm

If all I get is a smirk or a smile and he gets folks rocked back or overcome with laughter, then he wins. I'll gladly accept my participation award. Very Happy

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Re: Like Jaylen Brown, Markelle Fultz proves there’s good among the bad

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