The Boston Celtics are currently in the midst of a two-game skid amid the absence of All-Star Jayson Tatum. Yet, that hasn’t stopped teammate Jaylen Brown’s ever-growing bid to earn his first All-Star nod.
A widely regarded snub a season ago, Brown has taken his game to new heights this season. The NBA’s 11th-leading scorer is currently averaging new career-highs in points (25.8), assists (3.8), steals (1.5), blocks (0.5), field goal percentage (51%), three-point percentage (39%) and free throw percentage (77%).
The Cal-Berkeley product has tossed his name in the early-season running for NBA’s Most Improved Player thanks to his efforts. Yet, the MIP Award may not be the only silverware worth etching Brown’s name into by season’s end.
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Magic Johnson Tabs Jaylen Brown as a Top-5 MVP Candidate
Los Angeles Lakers legend and NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson believes Brown’s early-season play has been superb enough to warrant top-five consideration for league MVP honors, an award Johnson took home three times throughout his illustrious career.
Johnson took to Twitter on Wednesday night to share his top-five candidates, with Brown intertwined with two previous winners and two of the NBA’s most elite big men.
Brown’s inclusion in MVP talks may still be eye-catching for a player who is now five years into his NBA career with no All-Star appearances to show for it. Yet, in reality, it’s nothing new for a player whose surging game has earned league-wide recognition.
Earlier this month former Celtics champion and ESPN personality Kendrick Perkins echoed Johnson’s opinion of Brown, enlisting the 24-year-old as a top-five MVP candidate:
If you had to do a sample size of who was in the MVP conversation, Jaylen Brown’s a top-five player as far as MVP conversation just from his production on the court.
Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes refused to take things to the same extent, but couldn’t help but acknowledge Brown’s brilliance, tabbing him as an “honorable mention” in B/R’s Way-Too-Soon NBA MVP Rankings.
Brown’s MVP Chances Moving Forward
In reality, Brown’s chance of staking claim to an MVP award is fairly unlikely. Jayson Tatum, widely considered the Celtics’ best player, appears to be nearing a return to Boston’s lineup in the coming days. Head coach Brad Stevens joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak & Bertrand” on Wednesday for his weekly interview, where he tabbed Tatum’s status for Friday night as “50/50.”
The forward’s return will likely lighten the scoring load for Brown, who led Boston with 26 points in Wednesday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The same could likely be said for Brown’s ballhandling duties as Kemba Walker continues to re-establish himself following an offseason knee procedure. Brown has averaged just 3.0 assists since Walker’s return to the lineup two games ago, a 3.0 dip from his 6.0 assists average over the three games prior.
These two factors could very well lead to a decrease in production for Brown, which would simultaneously lessen his MVP chances. With that said, it in no way affects the importance he currently serves and will continue to in Boston’s quest for title No. 18.
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