NBA legend thinks Celtics star Jaylen Brown is top candidate for Most Improved Player

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Nick Goss
·2 min read
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NBA legend thinks Jaylen Brown is top candidate for Most Improved Player originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Jaylen Brown has steadily improved in each of his five NBA seasons, but the Boston Celtics guard has taken his game to an elite level this season.

Brown is scoring a team-leading 27.2 points per game on 52.8 percent shooting, including a 43.8 percent mark from 3-point range. He's also averaging career highs with 3.4 assists, 0.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game.

The 24-year-old guard ranks tied for sixth in the league in scoring and ninth in PER (ESPN's player efficiency rating stat). 

You could make a case that Brown should be in the MVP debate after carrying the Celtics offensively amid a first month of the season that saw both Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum miss multiple games. 

Power Ranking the most important players on finally healthy Celtics

The likelier scenario is Brown winning the Most Improved Player Award, and one NBA legend views the Celtics star as the top candidate right now.

"I definitely think he's tops for most improved," Vince Carter said Monday on ESPN show "The Jump." "You could see at the end of last year, the way he was playing and the confidence that he was playing with. That lets you know going into this year he was going to play with a lot of confidence, and he hit the ground running from the beginning of the season.

"I think they're 1A and 1B when you talk about the best players and most important players on the Celtics. When he goes and when (Jayson) Tatum goes, their team goes. And then you add Kemba Walker. I think right now, most improved and an All-Star level he's playing at right now. Look out for Jaylen Brown because the Celtics have a great opportunity to come out of the East because they play on both ends extremely hard.

Brown played really well last season, especially in the bubble, and scored 20 points per game for the first time in his career. He's improved his scoring by nearly seven points per game in 2021, but the most impressive part of his development is the playmaking he's displaying on a consistent basis.

Brown is running the offense on a level we haven't seen from him in the past, and it's creating quality shots for teammates. He set a career high with 118 assists last season, and his total through the first 16 games of 2021 is already 55. 

The Celtics now have two of the 15 best players in the league in Brown and Tatum. If All-Star point guard Kemba Walker is able to stay healthy throughout the season, it will be tough for any Eastern Conference team to beat Boston in a seven-game series come playoff time. 

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Boston
-129-2.5O 224.5
Atlanta
+105+2.5U 224.5