Jaylen Brown‘s performance against Golden State Saturday (20 points, 6 of 9 shooting, 0 assists) invites comparison to his in-game matchup with Warriors two-wary standout Klay Thompson (7 points, 3 of 12 shooting, 3 assists).
It’s only one game. And, a Celtics loss at that. So we added another fast-developing sophomore, Jimmy Butler, to the mix, and compiled the tables nearby for your consideration. (For a larger view, you can right-click the image.)
Counting stats look remarkably similar for the three sophomores. Brown enjoys a sizeable advantage over Butler in scoring, and Thompson in rebounding. The assist-to-turnover ratio favors Butler and Thompson. Brown puts up steals and blocked-shot numbers comparable to his future-all-star counterpars.
The advanced stats are close in some areas, with a wider gap in others. Brown trails significantly in value-over-replacement-player, and somewhat in win shares. In true shooting percentage, Player Efficiency Rating, defensive win shares, and even turnover percentage, the three are surprisingly close.
Enter the first of many caveats: Brown is just a little more than half-way through the season. By contrast, the Thompson-Butler numbers are based on 82 games. Brown appears to be improving before everyone’s eyes, as did Thompson and Butler in their sophomore years.
Things could, of course, go the opposite way. For example, Brown shot free-throws at a 65% clip both in college, and >70% over the first half of last season. Since last February, his accuracy declined.
Furtheremore, Brown (left, hanging out with Butler over the summer) is 21 years of age. Butler was 23, and Thompson 22, during their second campaigns, respectively.
Many of the differences in both counting and efficiency stats can be somewhat discounted. Brown plays on a contending team that’s led the NBA for most of the season in defensive efficiency. Brown doesn’t have a Joakim Noah protecting the trim.
On offense, Brown is playing with a far less efficient offense than Thompson, even in the early days of the Splash Brothers. He is, however, able to enjoy a lot of nice looks from 3-point territory thanks to the attention Kyrie Irving draws. Not to mention the passing of Al Horford and the shooting of Jayson Tatum.
Brown is counted on for more rebounding too, as the Celtics continue to struggle — though less than last season — against teams with great athleticism up front. On the one hand, this “helps” his rebounding numbers. On the other, it probably deprives him of some easy shots on fast-break opportunities. And on the other other hand, Brown and the Celtics fast break have been anything but Celtics-fast-break-like in efficiency.
Tell us what you think
Jaylen Brown’s NBA journey began with mild booing when the Celtics announced his selection to fans at the team’s 2016 draft party. It continued a year ago when he was inserted as a starter for two weeks, and the Celtics went on a season-turning 9-of-10 run. Followed up by an impressive (for a 20-year old) performance in the 1027 playoffs.
Can his sophomore strides continue? Boston fans hope so, abetted by the promising affirmation that is Brown’s twitter handle: FCHWPO.
(“Faith – consistency – hard work – pays off.”)
Jaylen Brown, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler
take a look at this statistical comparison of their sophomore years –https://t.co/suTYKfVyqG –
& then tell us:
Is Jaylen Brown @FCHWPO (age 21) ahead of schedule, on schedule, behind schedule as a developing top-flight 2-way wing?
— Celtics 24/7 (@celts247) January 29, 2018