Jaylen Brown came into the NBA as a poor free throw shooter, but the Boston Celtics guard has improved quite a bit in that area over his three-plus seasons in the pros.
Here's a look at Brown's free throw percentages from his first three seasons with the C's.
2016-17: 68.5 percent
2017-18: 64.4 percent
2018-19: 65.8 percent
These percentages are pretty bad, especially for a player who's so good at driving to the basket, drawing contact and getting fouled. Brown's explosive first step and impressive physical strength allows him to effectively attack the rim against most perimeter defenders, but this mentality is far less effective if you can't hit free throws at a normal clip.
Brown, to his credit, has turned around the weakest part of his skill set this season. He enters Wednesday night's matchup against the Detroit Pistons with a 78.1 percent mark from the foul line through 34 games. The 23-year-old swingman went 9-for-9 at the free throw line in Monday night's win over the Chicago Bulls, and afterward he revealed to reporters his free throw goal for the 2019-20 campaign.
Jaylen Brown, who entered this season as a 65.8% free-throw shooter, says his goal is to shoot at least 80% from the line this season.— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) January 14, 2020
Having made his last 12, he is now up to 78.1%. If he makes his next 14, he will be at exactly 80%.
Not only is Brown hitting a higher percentage of his free throws, he shooting more of them per game, too. He's averaging a career-high 4.4 attempts per contest, and in January he's going to the foul line 5.4 times per game and shooting 86.8 percent.
Brown, overall, is enjoying the best season of his young career with averages of 19.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, along with a 48.8 field goal percentage and a 39 percent mark from 3-point range. The free throw improvement is the most impressive part of Brown's season so far, and his growth in this area has made him a lot harder to defend.
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Pistons-Celtics, which begins Wednesday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.