33 points in 19 minutes. According to Elias, no player in NBA history had accomplished that feat in a regular-season game before Sunday night when Jaylen Brown cruised his way to that mark in three quarters of a blowout win for the Celtics.
Brown probably would have been flirting with 50-plus points if it wasn’t for first-half foul trouble (he played just nine minutes but still managed to score 13 points). He followed that up by erupting for 20 points in just 10 third-quarter minutes, turning a comfortable lead into a 39-point demolition by the closing minute of the frame. At that point, Brown’s night was done and history had been made. Did the 24-year-old soak in the moment at all?
“Not really,” Brown said. “We’ve got a back-to-back. We’re playing against a tough team, Chicago, so looking forward to the next one. Obviously extremely grateful to be in that position, but I’m looking forward to the next one.”
The fact that this was just another game from Brown speaks to the kind of season he has had. What once was extraordinary is now considered relatively routine for the swingman. Brown’s 33-point night now puts him sixth overall in the NBA in points per game (27.3). The only players ahead of him? Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry and Joel Embiid. Brown is getting his moment and he’s running with the opportunity.
“I’m just grateful to be put in positions to have responsibility and have weight and things like that,” he 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.”
The progression of Brown’s offensive game during the first 15 games of this Celtics season has to be considered the biggest development of the year and that’s including the return of what looks (so far) to be a healthy Kemba Walker. Right now, Brown is not just playing at an All-Star level, he’s playing at an All-NBA level, leaving defenses with no good option to contain him.
How so? Check out his efficiency at all three levels of the offense among high volume shooters.
Top restricted area shooters (Min: 5 attempts/G)
Christian Wood: 80 percent
Deandre Ayton: 78.2 percent
Montrezl Harrell: 76.8 percent
Giannis: 76.5 percent
Jaylen Brown: 74.7 percent
Top midrange shooters (Min: 4 attempts/G)
1. Embiid: 58.7 percent
2. Brown: 57.6 percent
Top 3-point shooters above the break (Min: 5 attempts/G)
Joe Harris: 51 percent
Jayson Tatum: 46.4 percent
Kevin Durant: 45.8 percent
Duncan Robinson: 45 percent
Paul George: 44 percent
Jaylen Brown: 43.8 percent
No matter where Brown shoots it from on the court, he’s among the most efficient high volume scorers in the league right now. In fact, calling him the best non-big finisher in the entire NBA so far this season would not be a stretch based on these