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Jaylen Brown probably felt like he was on an island. Maybe not deserted, but there weren't many people who shared his conviction in his playmaking abilities.

He ended last season with a career-high eight turnovers in the Boston Celtics' Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

But in an offseason where he also signed the most lucrative contract in NBA history, the two-time All-Star said he worked harder than ever before, including to evolve as a facilitator for his teammates.

His efforts are paying off. The 27-year-old is dishing out a career-best 3.7 assists per contest in his first 29 games this season. 

Having Kristaps Porzingis as a pick-and-roll partner and drive-and-kick outlet has also helped his development in that department. 

But even when the seven-foot-three center isn't on the floor with him, Brown is often making the correct reads. He's seeing the floor better than ever before, and he is setting up his teammates to score more effectively than at any juncture in his career.

After pairing a 31-point performance, leading all scorers, with six assists, tying Payton Pritchard for the second-most on the Celtics in their 120-118 win over the Toronto Raptors, the seven-year veteran conveyed the following about his maturation as a playmaker.

"I just think it's just been growth through experience," voiced Brown. "I think at the start of the year, I don't think the coaching staff was looking at me to be more of a playmaker, but any time I get an opportunity and I get better, I wanted to prove and earn everybody's trust and respect. So, I really worked in the offseason on developing my crafts. (I) take my game serious, and I just keep coming back, (and) getting better every year. I'm gonna just keep doing that."

When asked why that role means so much to him, the Marietta, Georgia native expressed, "Seeing and understanding the game, I've definitely developed in that over my career, and I think our coaching staff and (our) front office has done a great job of, kind of, constructing and putting me in spots where I can make it tough on teams. 

"Having shooters out there, like Sam (Hauser) and Payton, I can make teams make a choice. Having an athletic big, which is a rim threat, either Neemy (Neemias Queta) or Porzingis, that also makes teams make a choice, and you've got that around and then, credit to the coaching staff. As the season has gone on, they've put me in better spots where I can be more of a playmaker, not just with the ball but without the ball as well, and I've been able to take advantage of my reads."

The final exam won't arrive until the playoffs. But Brown's consistently capitalizing on his opportunities to grow as a facilitator in the regular season, making a leap many doubted and evolving into a more well-rounded player who is sharpening a tool that could help raise Banner 18 to the TD Garden rafters.

Further Reading

Derrick White Propels Celtics Past Raptors, Preserving Boston's Unblemished Home Record

Jrue Holiday's Assertiveness Elevating Celtics' Offense

Jayson Tatum's Selflessness vs. Lakers Exemplifies Celtics' Maturation: 'Hopefully, It's Gonna Pay Off'

Celtics' Offensive Approach Outweighs Three-Point Struggles in Christmas Victory vs. Lakers

Jrue Holiday Discusses Celtics' Christmas Win vs. Lakers and What Set the Tone for 3-1 West Coast Trip

Joe Mazzulla Discusses Identity, Evolution of Celtics' Offense: 'Balance of Pace and Execution'

Jayson Tatum Joins PR Team for Derrick White’s All-Star Campaign

Jaylen Brown Shares His View of What Defines 'Celtics Basketball'

An Empowered Jaylen Brown Strives to Balance Scoring with Playmaking: 'I've Grown A Lot'

Joe Mazzulla Believes Celtics' Second Unit is 'Starting to Develop an Identity'