BOSTON — Still no timetable on when we’ll see the return of Celtics’ center Robert Williams III on the floor. His knee injury has been repaired and Williams’ said his recovery is going good.
Right now the Celtics have the best record in the NBA at 13-4. The C’s have been proving that their deep playoff run last year to the NBA Finals was no fluke. Instead, they showed consistency with the relatively same roster despite the absence of Williams.
But how they’ve been able to cope with their loss at starting center is impressive.
Everyone boxes out
If you ever played high school basketball, pee-wee basketball or AAU you’ve heard your coach yell at your team to boxout on every shot. As players get older, more skilled, and taller the boxout becomes a lost art. The player with the better athleticism gets the rock, or the guy who can telegraph where the ball will hit off the rim will get the ball.
According to NBA.com the Celtics are the second best rebounding team in the league right now.
That’s because the C’s have been boxing out as a unit to make up for ‘Time Lords’ absence. Jayson Tatum is averaging 7.6 rebounds a night. Jaylen Brown is averaging 6.9 rebounds. They all crash the boards and because now the majority of the C’s roster consists of ball handlers, their able to get to their offense quickly. The collective group effort to crash the boards has been the biggest reason for the C’s success.
High offensive output
Defense is an extremely heavy factor of winning games, however, the team with the most points win. And the Celtics have been getting buckets.
The C’s have yet to score under 100 points this season. They’ve been the best three-point shooting team in the league and the best catch and shoot squad as well. Tatum is sixth in the lead in scoring with 30 points a night. Jaylen Brown is also averaging 25 points a game.
And now the C’s bench have gotten some much needed scoring with 3pt specialist Sam Hauser and the evolving Malcolm Brogdon who’s dropping 13 points a night. They’ve gone from being one of the best defensive teams last year to a hot streaky team that can put up points in abundance.
The Celtics know what it’s like to start out the season slow. They know what it’s like to have 20+ point leads to eventually blow it and lose a game. The C’s know what it’s like to lose a game because it was a back-to-back. We saw that last year for the first half of the season. Now they know how to avoid those problems.
Tatum is closing out close games the proper way. Picking his spots and getting his team involved when needed. The C’s have veterans on the court that know how to win close games. Robert Williams has been hurt before.
This spot is nothing new for the C’s.