Detroit Pistons shooting guard Bruce Brown is about to enter his second NBA season in 2019-20. Brown is coming off of a rookie season where he averaged 4.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists on a 40-26-75 shooting split in 19.6 minutes per game.
Brown obviously did not have the most efficient rookie season on the offensive end, however, he was a defensive stud for the Pistons. The 6’5” shooting guard from the University of Miami(FL) guarded the opposing team’s number one option 43.66 percent of the time.
Brown’s defensive usage on the number one option is the highest on this list, alongside the liking of premiere defensive guards Eric Bledsoe, Jrue Holiday, Patrick Beverley, Marcus Smart and Russell Westbrook. Brown’s defense was the reason he found himself in the starting lineup last season and I expect the same exact out of him this year as coach Dwane Casey said that Brown is an elite defender.
Let’s go back to the offensive side of the ball. Brown could not hit the broad side of a barn last season. However, Brown could make strides in his shooting ability. Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe, a top tier two way guard in the NBA, put up similar numbers to Brown in his first couple seasons.
As you can see, Bledsoe started off his career averaging 6.7 points, 3.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds on 42-28-74 shooting splits. But, come Bledsoe’s third NBA season, he was shooting the ball at 44-40-79 splits. Brown could easily make shooting strides throughout this season and could start shooting the ball more efficiently.
One thing Brown must improve on to shoot the ball more efficiently from the painted area. Last year, Brown took 67 percent of his shots from nine feet and closer, only shooting 46 percent from that area. As we saw in the 2019 Summer League, Brown attacked the rim a lot more and converted on a higher percentage of shots.
Not only did Brown attack the basket more efficiently, but he showed major strides as a playmaker, averaging 8.3 assists in four Summer League games.
I think we could be in store for a big year for Bruce Brown this season. As much as I would love to see Brown shoot a better percentage from the three-point line, I do not think we will see that happen. However, I do expect Brown’s field goal and free throw percentages to go up, as he will take more shots from the painted area, which in turn could lead to more free throw attempts.
I fully expect Brown to stay in the starting lineup this season due to his defensive prowess and improved playmaking abilities. I predict that Brown will put up averages around seven points, three rebounds and five assists on 43 percent shooting from the floor, 30 percent from three-point range, and 75 percent from the free-throw line. This means Luke Kennard will come off the bench, alongside Derrick Rose.
Brown has impressed so far in the preseason, and looked especially stellar in Detroit’s win over the Cavs on Friday night. He finished the game with 15 points, seven assists, and five rebounds. He was the catalyst of the Pistons’ comeback during the fourth quarter, in which they were down by 18 points at one point in the contest.
Brown’s finishing looks improved and his passing has been phenomenal. The growth is there, and that puts him in a great position to succeed with the Pistons this year.
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