Two weeks ago, the Golden State Warriors made headlines for what turned out to be an ill-advised decision to sag off the Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown.

The three-time NBA All-Star made the Warriors pay, scoring 29 points, including five three-pointers, in only 22 minutes of play to lead the Celtics to a dominant 140-88 win.

Golden State’s decision to overlook Brown was not unique though. The 27-year-old has often been overshadowed over the course of his eight-year career by his superstar teammate Jayson Tatum.

While he may not get the recognition that he deserves, Brown’s stellar two-way play has been critical to Boston’s success, not just this season, but ever since they drafted him third overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. Now a grizzled veteran, he is on track to average more than 20 points for a fifth consecutive season as he is putting up 22.9 points, two three-pointers, 5.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.1 steals through the Celtics’ first 59 regular season games.


Brown has been a major reason for Boston’s league-best 52-14 record, particularly in their 10 games following the All-Star break. Known primarily for his contributions on the defensive end, he has ramped up his offense to another level over the past few weeks. He is averaging 28.9 points on 54% field goal and 40.6% three-point shooting, six rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.2 steals over this stretch where the Celtics have won eight of their 10 contests.


His finest performance actually came in one of their two losses during this run when they fell to the Denver Nuggets last week in what could be a preview of this year’s NBA Finals. He led Boston with 41 points on 55.2% field goal shooting, 14 rebounds, four assists, and two steals as he led the charge for them with Tatum struggling to find a rhythm.

In their most recent game, a 127-112 win versus the Phoenix Suns, Brown once again led the Celtics in scoring as he continued his hot streak. He dropped 37 points, five three-pointers, five rebounds, three assists, a steal, and only one turnover in just 33 minutes.

These types of offensive performances from Brown are crucial for Boston in their bid to win the NBA title. The Celtics need him and Tatum at their best on a nightly basis, especially in the postseason, given their relative lack of depth.

Brown has made it a point to punish Boston’s opponents for ignoring him, but what is most crucial is that he can continue to produce at this elevated level once defenses begin to zero in on him. That will be the real test for him and may ultimately decide whether the Celtics can finally win their first NBA championship since 2008.