If you had told me prior to the beginning of the season that the Celtics would start 15-5, have a 10-game winning streak, and be a three games out of the top seed in the East, I would have thought you were insane.
Part of their success has been due to Gordon Hayward finding his old form, but he’s also been out for over 3 weeks… but he could be back soon.
Before his injury, everyone saw the player Boston originally signed 2 seasons ago.
He was back.
In 8 games, he was averaging 18.9 PPG, 7 RPG, and 4 APG, all while shooting 43.3% from deep and with an overall field goal average of 55.5%.
Add him to the mix of Jaylen Brown (20 PPG and 7 RPG), Jayson Tatum (21 PPG and 7 RPG), and Kemba Walker (21.8 PPG), and that’s a dangerous lineup anyone would have trouble with, even the first place Milwaukee Bucks (who the Celtics have already beat this season)
Some other good news to start this season: the team is 5th overall in defensive efficiency and 8th in offensive efficiency… but the stats don’t tell the whole story.
This team actually likes each other.
Without the drama-filled point guard from Brooklyn, the Celtics seem to like spending time with one another. Enes Kanter spending quality time with teammates and people around Boston, Grant Williams thanking the front office workers, teammates accepting Smart as the leader, and the biggest of all; trusting Tatum.
Last year in a game against Orlando, the Celtics had a chance to win the game, Kyrie didn’t get the ball, as Hayward instead passed to Jayson Tatum who took a jump shot from the corner that missed. After that, Kyrie publicly called Tatum and Hayward out for not getting the ball to him.
This year? Tatum takes the same shot against the Knicks and drains it for the win.
No hate from Kemba, the established star. All love from everyone. And that’s what stats can’t show you.
Teams who actually enjoy being together are bound to have some type of playoff run (at least to start). Last year’s Celtics could not get along and therefore suffered an embarrassing playoff exit where their star player gave up.