Jaylen Brown 'curious' how critics will respond to his handle: 'Their mindset might change a lot'

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Jaylen Brown 'curious' how critics will respond to his handle: 'Their mindset might change a lot'

Post by bobheckler on Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:06 am

https://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2018/10/boston_celtics_jaylen_brown_fo_1.html



Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown 'curious' how critics will respond to his handle: 'Their mindset might change a lot'



Posted October 3, 2018 at 8:59 AM




Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown dribbles the ball during a photo shoot at NBA basketball media day, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in Canton, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) (Steven Senne)



By Tom Westerholm



BOSTON -- Jaylen Brown isn't trying to prove anything to anyone.

Not exactly.

But don't think the Boston Celtics' young star missed all the pre-draft criticisms -- particularly about his shooting -- and don't think he missed all the subsequent backpedaling this summer after Brown hit nearly 40 percent of his 3-pointers last season.

"People are so sure, people who critique you, experts are so sure about what type of player you are," Brown said. "I came into the draft, and people were like 'Oh, he can't shoot.' That was the number one thing. 'He can't shoot.' I'm a 19-year-old kid, you know what I mean? At the time, it was probably fair to say based off my stats, but I mean, I'm a growth-documented player. Just because I struggle making passes or making reads now doesn't mean that's going to be the story for my whole career."


That was the background behind Brown's comments at Celtics media day, when he said he would be "interested" to see what people who had critiqued his ball-handling in the past would say when they watched him this season.

"You work, you put your mind to it, you get better," Brown said. "So that was the whole thing. It was interesting to see people say, 'Oh he's a dead-eye shooter now.' Like, I was just curious to see what people would respond to that, to what some of the so-called basketball experts would say, who swore up and down that I couldn't shoot, and I could just be this or just be that. Now I think their mindset might change a lot."

This summer, Brown shifted his focus to his handle -- emphasizing an aspect of his game he always had in his back pocket, but one the Celtics didn't utilize much in his rookie year.


"I didn't do anything crazy (this summer), put on a garbage can, I didn't do any of those," Brown said. "I just made an emphasis that when I'm working out, my handle is tighter. Before, I wasn't making it an emphasis."

That was by design. The Celtics didn't need Brown to be a creator on a team that relied so heavily on Isaiah Thomas' offense. What they needed was a floor spacer and a versatile defender, so Brown gave them that in spurts.

The next year, they need more. They needed a 3-and-D wing who could attack closeouts and get out in transition while defending multiple positions. So Brown gave them that.

"His situation was a lot different -- my rookie year and his rookie year, the dynamic of the team," Jayson Tatum said. "Last year he was able to show it more, and he will be this year."

"You're just ready to burst out that cage," Brown said. "I think that was me my rookie year. I couldn't wait to get out of this, so I could be myself. But at the same time, experience is the best teacher. When I got to my second year, getting to play heavy minutes and figure it out for myself, trial and error was the best experience for me."


So this summer, Brown turned up the focus on his handle. After last season, playmaking might be the last hole in his game, and it was always a fixable one. A top-tier athlete with 3-point range that has grown increasingly reliable as his career progressed, Brown's defensive prowess could land him on All-Defense teams in the future. In the playoffs, he averaged 18 points per game while defending any position from one to four on switches.

The Celtics generally play within Stevens' designations of ball-handlers, wings and bigs rather than the traditional 1-5 format, but Brown has increasingly found himself at the two, defending and being defended by smaller players. He can already bully them in the paint (witness the destruction he rained down on Philadelphia in the paint during the Eastern Conference semifinals).


Now, after yet another summer of focused improvement, Brown is ready to reap the results again.

"Jaylen has always been a guy who is committed to improving, and he has improved," Brad Stevens said. "I think that's one of his key attributes, to be honest."

Some of Brown's summer work is documented on YouTube, in his series with Tracy McGrady. Brown said McGrady hammered home the counterintuitive notion that footwork is the most important aspect of a tight handle. Brown forced himself to concentrate on hand-eye coordination, and he kept his feet moving.

"McGrady at one point was one of the best players in the world, for a couple years, so learning from him was a blessing," Brown said. "I think his footwork, being able to get your shot off at any time, I'm not at the point of my career where I can shoot the ball whenever I want to, but hopefully at one point in my career, I will be."


That's still down the road. Brown's handle has looked better in preseason -- he put talented rookie Miles Bridges in a blender in Boston's first game, creating a four-point play for himself -- but the sample size is far too small to say anything definitive.

Still, as Brown noted, he's a growth-documented player.

"It's a patience level," Brown said. "I'm not about to come out and here and just start doing Kyrie Irving, Harlem Globe Trotter moves. But I think people will definitely see a difference, the amount of time I've put in my craft. It's not going to show for one game, two games, but hopefully it'll stand out over the course of the season."

If it does, just remember: Brown isn't trying to prove anyone wrong. He just wants to know how people who doubt him will react.

"Man, you never know," Brown said. "We'll see."


bob
MY NOTE:  I've said all along Jaylen biggest needs are to improve his handle and his Frito shooting.  His frito shooting improved in the last month or two of the season but his ft%@ the end of the season was still below his rookie season and he shot only 64% from the line in the playoffs.  If he can get that over 70% (still not good) that would be nice ESPECIALLY if his handle is much better since that will get him to the line more often.

All-Stars are almost always high volume frito shooters and hit a high percentage of them.  Remember that, Jaylen.

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Re: Jaylen Brown 'curious' how critics will respond to his handle: 'Their mindset might change a lot'

Post by dboss on Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:20 am

This young man continues to develop and get better each year.

He is turning into a primetime scorer and defender.

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