Celtics Talk Podcast: Can Jaylen win the Most Improved Player award? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
You could make the argument Jaylen Brown deserved to be an NBA All-Star in 2020, but the Boston Celtics star improved enough in 2021 to make his All-Star status undeniable this time around.
Brown is on pace to set career-highs in points per game (24.8), assists per game (3.9), and shooting percentage (49.8). Those numbers are only part of what makes the 24-year-old a candidate for the 2021 NBA Most Improved Player award.
How Brown, Tatum shut down George in win over Clippers
Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant is the favorite for the award with -150 odds. Houston Rockets' Christian Wood (+260), New York Knicks' Julius Randle (+350), and Brown (+1000) follow -- odds provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook.
Can Brown work his way up the list? Chris Forsberg discusses Brown's odds to win the award on a brand new Jaylen-centric episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast.
PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.
"Jaylen's made that leap to All-Star status this year. It really started in the Bubble, but his play at the start of this year has been otherwordly," Forsberg said. "Love the way he's improved his vision, his passing. ... That's what makes me wonder if he can muscle his way into this conversation for Most Improved Player.
"Sometimes it all comes down to stats, right? Like, Christian Wood signs in Houston and is having a monster year, so he's going to be in the running for that. Jerami Grant going from a role player in Denver to now a focal point in Detroit. Voters sometimes get caught up in going, 'Alright, this guy went from 15 points to 25 points per game. But Jaylen is doing it -- not only has he gone to another level in terms of his all-around play, but can he get the Celtics to a point where they're a legitimate title contender? I think that will ultimately dictate whether Jaylen is in the mix for this award."
Also in the new episode: C's strength coach Bryan Doo details working with Jaylen Brown during his rookie season. How a voicemail from Kevin Garnett motivated Brown. And Dominique Wilkins on Brown's development.