Channeling his inner superstar, Boston Celtics big man Daniel Theis posted quite the week as he helped the team deliver a 3-1 road trip.
The difference between winning a championship and coming up short for the Boston Celtics may very well come down to the play of their big men.
If Daniel Theis continues to play like he has as of late, there should be nothing to worry about.
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Boston wrapped up a successful road trip, delivering wins in three in four games. Jayson Tatum is performing superhuman feats for the Celtics, leaving little debate that he’s among the league’s elite.
A larger debate is swirling on Boston’s title chances. Many believe the talent on the team is present, but some, like Nick Wright, see the one obstacle being the lack of an all-star big man.
Lack of movement at the trade deadline to acquire a difference maker has also played into the pessimism concerning championship hopes for the Celtics.
Theis is out to prove the naysayers wrong with an effort that is being respected and touted by teammates and fans alike. The best part is that Theis has improved steadily during the season’s progression, rising from role player to valued starter in the process.
Reliability and consistency
A glance at the overall stats for Theis may indicate an average season for most players. Now in his third season, Theis is averaging 9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 55.8 percent from the field.
These numbers are by far the best of his career and still aren’t indicative of how Theis has been playing as of late.
He continues to be the starter, getting the nod in 51 of the 52 games he’s played. Even when Enes Kanter went on a tear, Theis remained engaged with the game and continued to improve.
Re-energizing during the All-Star break, Theis has been tearing it up the past four games. He is averaging 16.8 and 10.3 rebounds, including a 25-point, 16-rebound game in last Friday’s victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Theis is growing more comfortable in his role, as evident by the numbers he’s put up since the calendar flipped to January.
In 24 games since the start of 2020, Theis has put up double figure point totals in 15 games. Theis also shot 58.8 percent in January, a number that has jumped to 60.6 percent in February.
With one game left in February, Saturday against the Houston Rockets, Theis is averaging 13 points and 8.3 rebounds during the month.
Looking at these numbers wouldn’t normally be cause for celebration, but with Tatum and plenty of others capable of handling the scoring load, getting 12 to 16 points from Theis is fantastic. The rebounds were a concern earlier this season and Theis has seemingly turned his focus to this aspect.
Theis is on the rise. Of course, these nightly and weekly performances don’t mean a whole lot unless he holds up once the playoffs open. That will be the true test of his growth and I, for one, can’t wait to see what happens.