Shannon Sharpe Sounds Off on Struggling Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown Boston Celtics

Getty Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics

Jaylen Brown’s stock has been fluctuating of late. The Boston Celtics star has proven himself as a go-to scorer but has also been exposed for his limitations as a ball-handler.

We’ve all seen Brown beat a guy with his first step and finish around the rim with ease, but we’ve also seen him drive into a crowd and lose control of the ball far too easily. Simply put, Brown can finish plays with the best of them, but he can’t create them – not for himself, or for others.

It’s those struggles that recently lead Fox Sport’s Shannon Sharpe to take a disrespectful shot at the Georgia native, questioning his limitations and asking how a player who can’t dribble the ball has made it this far in the NBA.

I’m going to get Jaylen Brown some receiver gloves because that seemed to be the only way he could hold on. I don’t know what he has on his hands. Maybe he’s messing with his beard. He’s got some beard oil on his hands…Nobody has hands that bad! How do you even make it to the league with hands that bad?” Sharpe said.

Brown has 15 turnovers throughout the first five games of the NBA Finals, averaging three per game, however, it’s the manner of those turnovers that is earning him the current level of criticism.

Brown Expects to be More Patient With the Ball

A big part of Brown’s struggles when handling the ball is that he quickly becomes loose with the dribble when pressured – a lot of that can be fixed by being more judicial with penetration, and choosing when to attack the lanes.

Choosing the path of least resistance is always the best option, and according to Brown, who spoke to the media on June 15, both he and the team are aiming to be better with their penetration and timing heading into game six on June 16.

Just maybe being patient. Golden State is a good defensive team. We know that and understand that. So you are patient. You see the game as best you can. You get your spacing, you play with a little bit more pace.

I think you get stuck in the half-court, it makes it a lot harder for you. They’re a good team. This is the highest level. So we just got to find ways to be better. We got to find ways to be more successful in that end. I think playing with a little bit of pace will help us out a little bit,” Brown told reporters.

Brown Could be a Deciding Factor

When you look at Brown’s scoring ability and his athleticism, it’s clear that he’s capable of being a deciding factor in game six, and potentially game seven too. The 25-year-old wing is an exceptional shooter off the catch, can consistently keep his man on his hip, and is a nightmare in the open court.

If Jayson Tatum is forced into more of a playmaking role, as he has been throughout the series, then having Brown operating as a play finisher could be the answer to Boston’s problems in the half-court.

According to Cleaning the Glass, the six-foot-six wing is converting 75% of his looks at the rim, 39% of his shots within the floater range, and 31% of his looks from long mid-range, giving him an overall 37% shooting from inside the perimeter.

The Celtics find themselves in a win-or-go-home situation entering their June 16 contest, so we can expect both teams to be playing at an elite level – but if Brown can limit his ball-handling duties, and focus on scoring the ball, Boston should be in a strong position down the stretch against the Golden State Warriors.

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