Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The score was so lopsided that the Celtics didn’t really need the explosion, but the third quarter belonged to Brown. He scored 20 points over a stretch of 8 minutes, 8 seconds, before checking out for the night, the second time this season a potentially massive scoring binge was halted because his services were no longer needed.
“I’m just grateful to be put in positions to have responsibility and have weight and things like that,” Brown said. “I’ve looked forward to the challenge. I’m grateful that it’s finally gotten here, but I’m just trying to do the best with what I’ve got.”
Brown’s numbers, with nearly one-quarter of this shortened season complete, are staggering. He’s averaging 27.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists, while connecting on 53.2 percent of his shots and 43 percent of his 3-pointers.
Jaylen’s 33 points in 19 minutes is the most points scored by any player in under 20 minutes in the shot clock era. Most. Ever.
Raise your hand if you thought Jaylen would become one of the league’s most explosive scorers. Now put it down because we all know you’re full of shit.
A quick glance at the scoring leaders shows Brown’s 27.3 ppg is good for 6th in the league, trailing Beal, Durant, Lillard, Curry, and Embiid. A closer look shows that JB gets to the line far less than his colleagues (4.8 FTA vs 8.9, 8.5, 8.1, 5.9, and 10.7) and has the lowest FT% (77% vs 86, 86, 95, 92, and 83). My point is there’s room for improvement and you’re a fool if you don’t think Brown is going to work his ass off to boost those numbers.
Gary Washburn adds that Brown is the team’s MVP, on track for his 1st All-Star appearance, and arguably one of the league’s top ten players.
John Karalis notes that Brown’s work ethic and focus won’t let him bask in the moment for one second.
Oh, and someone of note is paying attention:
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) January 25, 2021
On Page 2, JB is getting an assist from Marcus Smart.
Five of Smart’s nine assists in the game went to Brown. Which is particularly notable because the Smart/Brown tandem now leads the NBA in both assists-to-field goals (38) and assists-to-points (90).
As Brown emerges as one of the NBA’s best scorers this season — he’s now seventh in the league at 27.3 points per game — it’s notable that Smart has assisted on 45 percent of Brown’s assisted field goals this season. The next most common assister for Brown this season is rookie Payton Pritchard at 10 field goals.
The five assists leading to 11 points helped the Smart/Brown tandem sneak ahead of Chris Paul/Deandre Ayton (33) and kept them ahead of the Nikola Jokic/Jamal Murray (32) and Ben Simmons/Tobias Harris (33) combos.
What’s more, Smart-to-Brown has now generated more points than Simmons/Harris (81), Jokic/Murray (79), and Paul/Ayton (74).
Great insight here by Chris Forsberg who shows just how valuable Smart’s playmaking is to this team.
These stats emphasize a point highlighted in yesterday’s Dump that revealed the negative impacts of Smart’s volume shooting.
Keep passing, Marcus. Keep passing.
The rest of the links
The Athletic: Challenged to improve, Celtics respond with ferocity