Jaylen Brown's contract season begins now with USA Basketball
Thought Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum both looked good during the Team USA scrimmage. Tatum looked really confident offensively.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) August 10, 2019
Jaylen Brown was active defensively, but really off his game on offense. Was good to see him draw the start, even if that probably doesn't mean much.
We know right now that Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum are virtually solid locks for the final 12-man USAB roster. I would love to see Marcus Smart retained if he is truly healthy. The calf tightness worries me if it is pushed. In the video below, we are reminded of Smart's abdominal avulsion where a piece of the bone was actually torn off the iliac crest by what Dr. Sutterer perceives as a powerful muscle contraction. If you have the time, take a look. The doctor's analysis is very logical, and we would hate to see a similar occurrence in the calf area. Marcus gives 100% effort, but so do his muscles.
Back to Jaylen. I am always uncomfortable with new situations, and so - apparently - is Brown. International play is new to him, and the first scrimmage doesn't define his ability. Look at last season. November saw averages of 11.3 PPG and 4.1 RPG with 42% shooting from the field and 21% on treys. March was much better, with 14.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG and 50% FG%-42% on 3's. Even though he went to the bench, his production and efficiency went up - as did his plus/minus (-2.8 in November to -0.4 in March).
Don't expect Danny Ainge to extend Jaylen anytime soon. Danny avoids that in most cases. Right now, I am hoping that Jaylen remains on Team Shamrock with his buddies on the USAB roster. Getting cut will be a blow to him and might cause some slight damage to his future hopes. I am looking for a healthy Smart and confident Brown to remain with Team USA. Here's hoping it happens.
NOTE: @_Celtics_Center is running a terrific start/bench/cut all-time Celtics roster bit. I chimed in with (for now, I might reconsider - give me your arguments):
PG - Dennis Johnson
SG - John Havlicek
SF - Larry Bird
PF - Kevin Garnett
C - Bill Russell
Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and @_Celtics_Center