As the Boston Celtics approach the playoffs, their team is more poised than ever this season for a successful playoff run.
The Boston Celtics have figured out a winning formula within their team while inside the bubble.
The Celtics have figured it out while inside the NBA bubble. In doing so, we’ve seen them get off to great and fast starts, go on long scoring runs, and score over 100 points in each game this season. In fact, the C’s 149 point blowout victory over the Brooklyn Nets was the most points scored by the team in a single game since 1994.
With scorers at every position, it’s safe to say that the Celtics have the offensive side of the court completely covered and can keep up with some of the best that the NBA has to offer. Kemba Walker appears to be back to his normal form, while Gordon Hayward seems to have elevated his all around game to newer and higher heights, as he’s done a great job of being aggressive and is averaging 18.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game.
“I think our team is at our best when I’m aggressive and attacking. Just it opens the court for everyone else. A lot of times when I’m attacking it doesn’t necessarily end up with me scoring, but it can be a pass or an extra or something else. But I think just getting more paint threats for our team is good. So just trying to attack.” – Gordon Hayward, per John Karalis of MassLive
Although, it has been Boston’s dynamic duo that has carried the team through the bubble thus far. Since the Celtics’ first loss to Milwaukee during the restart, Jayson Tatum has averaged 25.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists per game. Along with Tatum, Jaylen Brown has also been carrying the Celtics through the bubble by averaging 19.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game while also proving to be one of Boston’s best two-way players.
It’s fair to say that when Tatum and Brown are both on point and scoring the ball at a high level that the Celtics are one of the hardest teams in the league to defeat. To prove this point, Tatum is showing that he is capable of connecting on every shot he attempts, and the Celtics are a perfect 13-0 this season when Brown scores at least 20 points.
But the biggest and most pleasant surprise for the Celtics since the restart has been the emergence of the Time Lord, Rob Williams. In his last four games, Williams has averaged 11.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and two blocks per game while proving his value just in time for the playoff run that the Celtics are about to endure. Williams is also one of the best rim protectors and defenders the Celtics have at their center position.
“He’s got great vertical athleticism, he’s a good communicator on the court, knows what we’re trying to do at both ends, he gets to the rim quick on rolls, hopefully he maintains his good health.” – Brad Stevens, per Tom Westerholm of MassLive
The numbers don’t lie. Despite where they rank among the Eastern Conference, the Celtics are actually the best team in the NBA based on statistics. They are currently second in net rating (6.5) and are the only team in the league to rank at the top in both offensive (113.1) and defensive (106.6) ratings (fourth place in both statistical categories).
What’s so great about the Boston Celtics is that for them to have success throughout the playoffs and hopefully earn the historic franchise’s league leading 18th championship banner, it will be because of a total and complete team effort all the way through. It’s not just two players or the more common “Big Three” that you see around the league, it takes all of any five players who find themselves on the court.
It’s going to be fun and exciting to see what the Boston Celtics can manufacture as the NBA inches closer to the playoffs in the most unique season in the history of the league.