5 Celtics who are exceeding expectations, 2 underperforming at midway point of season

The Celtics are title contenders with these players performing unexpectedly.

Boston Celtics, Jayson Tatum, Jrue Holiday
Boston Celtics, Jayson Tatum, Jrue Holiday / Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
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Underperforming: Jrue Holiday

The Bucks trading for Damian Lillard opened the door for Holiday to come to Boston. Nobody expected him to go from one title contender to another until it happened just days before the season. The two-time All-Star is known for his elite defense, but his numbers are way down with the Celtics.

Holiday is averaging 13.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 33.8 minutes per game. He is the team’s fifth-leading scorer but is putting up his lowest scoring and assist average since his rookie campaign. The 6’4 guard has never finished below 1.1 steals per game. His rebounding is a career-high, but his other stats are down across the board.

It has sunk his advanced metrics. Holiday is producing 0.115 win shares per 48 minutes, which is well above the league average, but significantly below his numbers during his three seasons in Milwaukee.

Jrue Holiday is still playing elite D and pairs with Derick White to make the best defensive backcourt in the league. No team looks forward to facing the Boston Celtics because they have two stoppers on the perimeter. Holiday has settled into a lesser role on the best team in the league. Expect the two-time All-Star to raise his game if necessary and to continue to help the franchise win.