The Boston Celtics are sitting at the top of the NBA with an 11-3 record and have the best offense in history since the merger. This is a huge turnaround from last season as Boston was the best defensive team in the league while struggling on offense at times despite landing in the NBA Finals.
This season, however, the Celtics are finding ways to win games when things get out of hand. A blown lead is suddenly something they’re able to make a comeback on and take over the end of games and they’re doing it in different ways, but it’s always the right way, the winning way.
Marcus Smart is captaining the ship by issuing 57 assists over the last seven games and playing the best basketball of his career, 14 games into the new season. The best thing Smart is doing is getting the Jay’s involved as 64 of his 99 assists have gone to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown this season.
Tatum and Brown have shown that they’ve matured over the summer after their Finals loss. Tatum said he never wants to feel the way he did after losing in the Finals ever again and it’s fair to say the feelings are mutual throughout the entire team and the city.
The Jay’s are the highest scoring duo in the league with 57.6 points per game this season and became the first pair of teammates to score 300-plus points each this season, not to mention they’re both averaging career highs across the board in doing so.
Boston has also received great contributions from their bench and overall depth during this early part of the season. Malcolm Brogdon literally changes everything and being paired with an elite marksman in Sam Hauser on the second unit, Brogdon is too good and will win that matchup every single time he’s on the court.
There aren’t enough good things that can be said about Grant Williams. His two-way versatility is an element Boston needs and the obvious accuracy he’s able to hit from deep is a nice added bonus to his game. The only thing Grant needs to work on is his attitude and I thought he would’ve learned his lesson from the incident earlier in the year, however he’s still picking up technical fouls pretty often.
And last, but certainly not least, we have to mention the role players and specifically Derrick White and Payton Pritchard. White has been outstanding in a variety of roles and Pritchard is the perfect plug and play guy for this team. Which shouldn’t be surprising, as we learned this about these guys last season, however, we’re seeing their impact in other ways that are propelling the Celtics to victories over the last few games.
The Celtics will look for their eighth straight win as they have a matchup with the Hawks that’s poised to be a great game, tonight in Atlanta.
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Photo Credit: Matt Stone, The Boston Herald