Don’t get too excited now, for it’s been such an up-and-down season thus far, but the Boston Celtics have been on a bit of a run here in January.
After losing tough back-to-back games against the Spurs and Knicks, the shamrocks have managed to turn things around, winning five out of their last six games, and there have been quite a few reasons why they’ve managed to go on such a roll lately.
By no surprise, the young explosive duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown has been leading the way for Boston, but, even though they’ve been the face of the hot streak, there’s been another player who has been stepping up his game as well.
That man: Dennis Schroder.
While the Boston Celtics don’t have a distinct Big-3, Schroder is making his case to be that third cog amid all the trade buzz surrounding him. Over the last six games, the veteran is averaging about 12.3 points, which includes two 23-point performances.
When Schroder’s playing efficiently and moving the ball well, the C’s look like a whole new team.
As I mentioned earlier, the All-Star tandem of Tatum and Brown has been leading the way during this current streak. Just in their last game, the Jays combined for 50 points and 16 rebounds.
In fact, over their last six games, which includes a tough loss against the 76ers, the duo has been averaging 24 points each while both find themselves shooting above 40 percent from the field.
They started their hot streak with a win against the New York Knicks, just a day after losing a heartbreaker to this same team on a miraculous 3-pointer made by RJ Barrett.
Taking control of that game, Jaylen Brown had a statement night, posting his first career triple-double with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. What really worked during this game for the Celtics was their stout defense, allowing only 33 points in the entire second half.
During this game, Brown attempted 73 percent of his shots from two-point range and only 27 percent from deep. Tatum, on the other hand, was a bit more even, shooting 43 percent of his shots from two-point range and 57 percent from beyond the arc.
JB shot 60 percent from the floor while JT shot 43 percent.
Boston’s next two games were both against the Indiana Pacers where the wings combined for 117 points in just two games. Throughout both outings, Tatum put up 60 percent of his shots from inside the arc while Brown put up 62 percent.
The wings shot 45 percent and 49 percent from the field, respectively.
In their loss against the 76ers, Tatum shot 59 percent of his shots from two-point range and Brown shot 50 percent of his from there. Unfortunately, they ended up losing by 12 points and the turnovers had a big part in that with the team having 20 total.
Their next two games were both wins, one against the Bulls in a close contest and another against the Pelicans where they had an amazing second half.
During those two games, Tatum took 79 percent of his shots from inside the arc while Brown took 67 percent.
What I’m trying to say is, when the Boston Celtics (the All-Star wings, in specific) drive the ball and take mid-range jumpers, they’re much more difficult to beat. The team’s dynamic duo are big so when they drive, they have a better chance of drawing a foul to put them at the charity stripe for some free throws.
The Boston Celtics played great defense during this stretch as well but you need to make buckets in order to win. Tatum (32.3 percent) and Brown (36.9 percent) can both shoot from deep, but when they drive is when they’re hardest to defend.
In order for this team to keep their hot streak alive, they need to keep doing what they’re best at, which is driving to the hoop and using their elite footwork and moves to score.
Not every time they drive they score, obviously, but when they get hot it draws more defenders into the paint when they’re driving, thus opening up passing lanes to another player who is capable of hitting an open trey such as Grant Williams or Al Horford.
If the Celtics were to make a deal for Schroder, they would probably look to acquire a shooter somehow so when the All-Stars drive to the basket, they have another reliable shooter they could hit outside of the arc besides each other.