Jaylen Brown can learn from Kawhi Leonard’s development as a ball-handler to improve next season – Sporting News

Welcome to “Summer Workout Plan, ” our annual offseason series in which we dive into a specific area for improvement for certain players to take the next step in their development.

Our next player to take the spotlight is Celtics All-Star guard Jaylen Brown.

The Celtics came up just short of an NBA title this past season and the truth is, it can’t help but feel like they shot themselves in the foot.

The greatness of Stephen Curry and the Warriors’ experience on the particular NBA Finals stage are two aspects that certainly deserve plenty of credit, but Boston’s penchant for forcing things on offense and turning the ball over was undoubtedly its Achilles heel throughout the entire playoffs.

As the Boston celtics look to learn from last season’s mistakes and make another run for Banner 18 next season, it all starts with the continued development of their stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

MORE: What Tatum, Brown can learn from Durant, Westbrook

And with regard to Brown, his biggest region of improvement is their ball-handling.

If Brown wants to take another step as a premier scoring option, it’s going to start with tightening his handle in order to cut back on turnovers.

This past season, Brown had a career-high in total turnovers (178) and matched his career-worst turnovers per game average (2. 7). In the playoffs, Tatum (100) was the only player who tallied more turnovers than Brown (74).

Granted, Brown’s usage rate was also at a career-high, which plays a factor in his increase in giveaways. Many of his turnovers were avoidable as he would drive into traffic without a plan or have the golf ball poked loose while trying to get to their spots.

Brown had seven turnovers within two separate playoff games, and he also had five turnovers in Games 5 and 6 of the NBA Finals – all four contests resulted in losses for the Celtics.  

It’s the performs like this…

… and this…

… plus this…

… that could all be avoided along with extra ball-handling work this particular offseason.

But with that being said, I do want to mention that Brown’s handle is nowhere near because bad since it will be made out to become on NBA Twitter. And his growth as a ball-handler is night and day compared to when he first came in to the league  whenever he could hardly dribble or attack with his left hand .

Moves like this to create his own shot…

… he simply did not possess in the bag until the final couple of seasons, showing signs that he’s trending within the right direction.

And his improvement doesn’t have to end up being drastic, either. No one is expecting Brown to come back next time of year with Kyrie Irving or even Jamal Crawford-like handle.

MORE: Summer Workout Strategy: What Trae Young may learn through Stephen Curry

That’s where I believe he can study from a player like Kawhi Leonard, that had a very similar scouting report in order to Brown going into the particular NBA Draft.

I went back and read through both Brownish and Leonard’s pre-draft scouting reports on DraftExpress and there was  a lot   of overlap between the two in regards to their handle and chance creation.

“Loose handle” plus “mechanical issues like a ball-handler” are two things that were said of Brown .

“Average ball-handler, ” “struggled to create shots effectively, ” and “if (he) ever develops into the more reliable isolation threat, improving his left hand should be among his top priorities” are usually all stuff that were said associated with Leonard .

In 2 from the last three months Leonard played, he has been among the particular most efficient iso scorers in the entire league.

Kawhi won’t wow you along with an insane dribble package or quick-twitch shiftiness, yet he’s mastered the art of dribbling efficiency, keeping the basketball on a string while relying a lot more on their strength to get to his spots and rise up.

Brown (6-6, 223 lbs. ) has a similar frame as Leonard (6-7, 225 lbs. ), and there’s no reason this individual can’t be as physical using the ball in his hands. It’s something that Boston celtics head coach Ime Udoka preached in order to Brown during the playoffs, telling him he or she needed to be stronger with the particular ball in order to cut back again on turnovers.

One thing you’ll notice when watching Leonard: he  pounds   the ball directly into the ground with every dribble. Again, it’s nothing fancy, but his handle is confident and compact and that’s all he needs to score effectively plus efficiently.

It took Kawhi nearly 7 seasons to become the photo creator he is today, and while part of that was because of the limited offensive role behind the Big 3 in San Antonio early on, it goes to show even the most talented players need some time to fine-tune every aspect of their own game.

As Brown enters his seventh season within the little league, he’ll have got aspirations of making his second All-Star team and leading the Celtics back in order to the NBA Finals. The first step to checking both associated with those boxes is working on his ball-handling to become an even  more   dynamic offensive threat compared to he already is.

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