Jaylen Brown may be leaving the bubble a superstar


There was a lot you could take away from the Celtics' win over the Raptors Friday night.

First and foremost, they completely dominated one of the two teams many questions the C's can get past in the Eastern Conference. But the problem with going down that road is that these are still the play-in games and the 122-100 win over Toronto wasn't exactly put under a postseason umbrella.

Sure, the Celtics are the only team to beat the Raptors three times this season. Perhaps this was a window into how the Celts feel about controlling Nick Nurse's team, which came into the contest averaging a league-high 19.2 fast-break points and were held to 13 by the C's. And, yes, carrying a 40-point lead at any time against any team suggests a message is being sent.

But at this point, we should be looking at the big picture and no image is growing larger than the one Jaylen Brown continues to fill up.

People are starting to take notice that Brown isn't just the second option if Jayson Tatum isn't available. He is becoming a star.

Jalen Brown should have been an All-Star this year. Straight Up... https://t.co/VYWK7unajR

— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) August 8, 2020

Jaylen Brown last 5 games20 PTS - 6 REB - 4 3PM21 PTS - 4 REB - 5 3PM18 PTS - 10 REB - 2 BLK30 PTS - 6 REB - 6 3PM22 PTS - 4 REB - 3 3PM pic.twitter.com/EuFG0JVlMV

— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) August 8, 2020

It wasn't just that Brown led the Celtics with his 20 points, it was how he did, and how he has done it.

Unlike sometimes we see with Tatum -- whose ceiling is undeniably higher than any of his Celtics' teammates -- Brown lets the game come to him, while also offering much-needed defense on a variety of talents. Friday night it was Toronto's Pascal Siakam, who was limited to 11 points and two rebounds.

Is Perkins correct in his assessment that Brown is the best all-around shooting guard in the league (period, point-blank)? The former Celtic is right. Much of what Brown does can't be quantified with a box score. He doesn't search for shots. He isn't a high-volume scorer. But when you do look up at the end of the night he has his 20 points on around 50 percent shooting while locking up his guy on defense.

It doesn't hurt that the 23-year-old Brown has found his voice when it comes to life outside of basketball, expressing himself -- both in words and action -- in ways that don't come off like Kyrie Irving's sometimes convoluted messages.

If nothing else, the conversation is over when it comes to which player from the 2016 NBA Draft fits the Celtics the best. It isn't Ben Simmons. It isn't Brandon Ingram. It isn't Buddy Hield. It isn't Siakam.

It might be time for others to heed Perk's advice: Start looking at Jaylen Brown in a new light.

CELTICS. PORN. pic.twitter.com/akLXnSCi6J

— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) August 8, 2020