Why the Celtics need more Jaylen Brown, less Jayson Tatum in the clutch

Yahoo Sports NBA contributor Tom Haberstroh dives into his one big number - and explains why Boston should lean more on its second option late in close games.

Video Transcript

TOM HABERSTROH: I'm Tom Haberstroh, and you're watching "The Big Number." Today's big number is 20.9. That's Jaylen Brown's usage rate in clutch situations this season, which ranks 70th in the NBA. That's right-- 70th.

Look, the Boston Celtics have by far the best record in the league. But when the game gets tight, they're just another good team. They're 20 and 11 in clutch situations this year, which is not first. That's fourth in the NBA.

Boston star Jaylen Brown averages 23.4 points per game. But when the game gets tight, he often becomes the third and sometimes the fourth option for the Boston Celtics, letting Jayson Tatum, his teammate, take the wheel, and, oftentimes, drive into a ditch. You can see Jaylen Brown's enormous downsizing in clutch situations by looking at his usage rate, which is simply the percentage of a team's possessions a player uses either via field goal attempt, free throw attempt, or a turnover while he's on the floor.

Overall, Jaylen Brown has a 28.3% usage rate. But when the game is within 5 in the final five minutes, it plummets all the way down to 20.9%. That drop of 7.4%, that decline is the largest, by far, for any 20-point scorer in the NBA.

And here's the thing-- it's not that Jaylen doesn't come up big in those big moments. Actually, his shooting percentages are vastly superior to Jayson Tatum's this season and over the last three seasons in clutch situations. So if the Boston Celtics want to elevate their elite status into clutch situations too, they need more Jaylen Brown and less Jayson Tatum, as evidenced by that startling clutch usage rate of Jaylen Brown's 20.9%. I'm Tom Haberstroh, and that's "The Big Number."