The Boston Celtics made some rather imperative shakeups during this year’s trade season, bringing on a true difference-maker combo guard in Derrick White, bolstering the team’s big-man depth by re-acquiring Daniel Theis, and, ultimately, ducking under the luxury tax.
As an ultimate result of their transactions, Ime Udoka’s squad looks to be well on pace to clinch their eighth-straight postseason berth and, with how things have been going as of late–seeing 17 victories in their last 24 games and just having their win-streak halt at nine-straight–, they could prove to be legitimate Eastern Conference contenders.
While there’s still some work to be done with their overall depth on the bench (a problem than could theoretically be solved via the buyout market), when it comes to this team’s starting five they are unequivocally one of the most effective units in the entire league.
In fact, according to the folks at Bleacher Report, the Boston Celtics have the second-best starting lineup post this year’s trade deadline.
With a collection of Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, and Robert Williams III, the C’s have proven capable of being absolutely lethal on both sides of the ball and, as writer, Andy Bailey, put it, their ability to do “a little bit of everything” is the main reason for their stupendous play, especially as of late:
"Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are volume-scoring wings who cover a lot of ground defensively. Marcus Smart is a solid passer who can shut down opposing guards. Al Horford can playmake a bit, can pull opposing bigs out of the paint with his shooting and offers a wealth of defensive experience. And Robert Williams III is a high-flying rim-runner with an underrated passing game.When all five are together, this balanced group is devastating, particularly on the defensive end, where it’s allowing a league-best 90.9 points per 100 possessions."
With an overall net rating of +26.1, it’s no secret that the numbers and the eye test both align with one another, pointing to the reality that this Boston Celtics squad, though it may have taken a bit of time, is an absolute menace to go up against for an opposing team.
As we look towards the post-All-Star game break, fans are hoping that this team can continue to produce at this all-around level down the final stretch of the season.
If they can, the rest of the league better watch out!