The Boston Celtics
The 2020-21 NBA season is off to quite an entertaining start. The Boston Celtics have been one of the most interesting teams in the league this year for many different reasons. Whether it was Jayson Tatum’s Game-winning banked in 3 over the reigning MVP and defensive player of the year Giannis Atetekumpto, The emergence of Jaylen Brown as an Offensive stud, or the trade rumors around James Harden there is a lot to talk about when it comes to the Boston Celtics so let’s dive into it.
The Boston Celtics currently sit at 4-3 which is the 6th best record in the Eastern Conference. Coming off a good win against the Detroit Pistons last night. It is a good win not because the Pistons are necessarily a good team but the Celtics are, and early in the season good teams have to make sure they are beating those teams that aren’t really looked at as playoff teams. This is only important to note because the Celtics previously played the Pistons on Friday and lost. The Celtics got off to a bad start Friday night in Detroit and since it is early in the season the Pistons were giving them everything they had and after falling behind 27-12 in the first quarter they could never recover. Last night’s win should be considered good because the Celtics showed their ability to improve on the fly and make adjustments to an opponent after just one game.
The Boston Celtics offense currently has the 4th best field goal percentage in the NBA (48.8%), the 5th best three-point percentage in the NBA (40%), and they are 5th in total field goals made with 43.1. Offense production during the regular season has not really been the problem with the team even though having top 5 team stats in 3 offensive categories is reassuring. The Boston Celtics defense is also 3rd in the league in steals averaging 10 a game right now. This stat is great to note because if they can keep this up, taking 10 possession from an opponent will be huge down the stretch.
Top 5 Most Impressive Players:
Brown is playing at an all-star level. The absence of Kemba Walker has given him the chance to operate more and get into more pick and rolls as the ball handler. Brown has really unlocked different parts of his game this year. In the past, we have seen tangible things such as his jump shot, ball handling, and defense improve. This year it’s simply just been his feel for the game. He’s always had all the tools to but it was just about going out and doing it and he’s now doing it and consistently.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 31, 2020
Teague has seemed to gel very well in Boston. He’s really replaced that Brad Wannamaker role for them and provided some solid veteran leadership for this young Celtics team. His ability as a composed point guard is something I can see the Celtics taking advantage of in games that come down to the wire.
Robert William is a beast and it’s been great to see that more and more this year. He’s a great compliment to the guard play of Brown and Tatum and has been improving his pick and roll game since he has got to the league. Both Tatum and Brown are so good at manipulating ball screens and Williams has really been the beneficiary of that.
Pritchard has really taken advantage of Kemba being out. He’s only averaging about 7 points in the first 7 games but coming off the bench and playing when he has really capitalized. He is another guy that can really fill that Brad Wannamaker role and just energy off the bench for this team. He has a great ability to create for others when he gets into the lane. He has a high basketball IQ and is really good about getting the ball to guys in position.
Thompson has actually fit into the mix well. He’s run the floor really well and you can tell how much time he spent this offseason working on his touch around the rim. He’s a great dump-off big and awesome to have off the bench. He’s another guy that can help guard Giannis which was a big problem for the Celtics last season.
What to make of Jayson Tatum as “The Guy” this year?
On the season Tatum is averaging 24.3 points per game, shooting 45% from the field and 40% from 3 point range and securing 8 boards a game. Tatum has really embraced being this year. The stepback game-winner against Giannis was proof in itself. He wants the big moments he wants to take the last shot. It’s no secret that the late Kobe Bryant was a mentor to Tatum, He admired not only his game but his mentality as well. This year we’ve defiantly seen that mamba mentality out of Tatum. The game-winner was the obvious example but he’s also found a go-to move in his step-back 3 which he shot a league-best 42% on last season. Although he knocks it down at such a high rate he does need to settle for it less in critical moments. He missed the same stepback he hit on Giannis at the buzzer against the Pacers two days later and it wasn’t even a bad look he just had been having a lot of success that game getting to the basket so it was confusing to watch him settle. The good news though, is that Tatum and Brown work together beautifully. With the two young stars seeming to only elevate each other’s game each year this will be a fun season for the Celtics.
☘️ Game-winning bucket
☘️ Game-sealing block
☘️ Career-high 12 AST
☘️ 24 PTS, 8 REB, 4 3PM
— NBA (@NBA) January 4, 2021