(Photo by Maddie Meyer / Getty Images)

Jaylen Brown has seemingly surprised absolutely everybody so far this year. Absolutely everybody. Here’s why…

Stepping. Up.

When Gordon Hayward broke his leg, everyone feared the worst for the Celtics’ season. How were they going to compete with LeBron’s Cavs? Will their offense be able to cope without him? Is Kyrie going to have the same problem Isaiah had last year? They needed someone to seriously step it up, and Jaylen Brown fulfilled and succeeded all expectations…

Averaging 16ppg on the year, Jaylen is a significant contributor to the C’s explosive and fluid offense. His shooting numbers are particularly impressive. He has shot a very respectable 47% FG% and a staggering 41% from behind the arc, up from 34% last season.

Beyond just numbers, it is evident that the blow of Hayward’s injury has been significantly reduced by Brown’s determination on the court. His explosive dunks in transition can really ignite the Celtics offense, whilst he also offers so much defensively to the C’s starting group.

Grit and Determination simply win basketball games

One major show of pure dedication and professionalism on the basketball court this season was Jaylen Brown’s game against the Golden State Warriors. He played just the day after his childhood friend Trevin Steede passed away. Kyrie Irving spoke on Brown’s drive to play the way he did in that game:

“I knew from the start of the game. I gave him some great words that was given to me. I’ve lost individuals in my life. It’s never a good thing when someone else is going through it. You do your best to console and to encourage them, but at the end of the day, it’s about the strength within themselves and he showed a lot of that tonight, to be able to go out there and perform the way he did, I knew exactly where the game ball was going to.”

Kyrie puts it best. It takes a lot for a player to continue to play hard every night whilst coping with a loss. Jaylen Brown has showed a hell of a lot of courage and willingness; not many players can perform to such a high standard during rough times… Jaylen has proved that he appreciates the duty he has to play for the fans. For that, I give him all the respect he deserves.

Giving credit where it’s due…

The Celtics’ 16-game win streak came to an end at the hands of the Miami Heat. However, this truly incredible stretch of games can partially be credited to Jaylen Brown himself. As I said previously, in the light of Gordon Hayward’s injury, Jaylen has seriously taken his game to another level this season – contributing on all ends of the floor and confidently taking on great responsibility with professionalism and hunger to perform.

Last season, I will admit that I knocked Jaylen Brown quite heavily. He averaged just one point more than my Chicago Bulls’ 2016 2nd Round Pick Paul Zipser, with just 6.5ppg. This season, however, nobody is debating whether Zipser is better than Jaylen Brown. Quite frankly, it is not even remotely close. Jaylen Brown should and will be in the conversation for Most Improved Player if he continues to perform this well consistently throughout the season.

I’m feeling optimistic concerning Jaylen’s future in the NBA and I hope he continues to absolutely kill it for the Boston Celtics this season. Also, on a final note, I feel I speak on behalf of everyone here at Spark Sports by expressing my condolences to the friends and family of Trevin Steede, may he rest in peace.