The Celtics are 54 games down, over halfway to the end of the regular season. With a record of 38-16, they still sit atop the league with the best record in basketball, although not by much. Teams are beginning to creep up behind them in the standings, and they may only hold the lead for a short time.
Regardless, they are still the best. A couple of all-stars, incredible bench play, and talented scoring is taking them to the top of the league. Can they remain No. 1 in the East, or will their momentum dwindle and their success deflate?
The Jays Dominate
The most commanding duo in basketball resides in Boston, with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown controlling the East. They combine for 57.9 points per game with 16 rebounds, making the Celtics must-watch television.
Tatum himself is considered the star of the show, with 31 points and 9 rebounds per game. He is 5th in MVP odds, but he could easily find his way to the top of the conversation. What makes his game so impressive is that while he may be scoring 31 points, he does it while sharing the ball with another elite NBA superstar.
Jaylen Brown is no longer a No. 2 or second man up in Boston’s rotation. He is a costar and does not sit in the backseat. He actually sits at 21st in betting odds, with 27 points per game and 7 rebounds.
Rotation Reigns Supreme
The Celtics may have the most elusive rotation in the NBA, with players that fit their needs at every level. They have three players averaging over 10 points per game, not including the Jays, and 3 players behind them averaging 8 or more.
Malcolm Brogdon has become their heat off the bench, averaging the third most points on the team with zero starts on the season. His 14.4 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists have proven incredibly important to the team’s overall success.
The players that stand out again this season are Grant Williams, Al Horford, and Robert Williams at the bigs. They each score about 9 points per game and combine for 19.1 of the team’s rebounds per game.
A player that has really stood out in the minutes they were given is bench shooter Sam Hauser. A member of their G League affiliate, the Maine Celtics, last year, Hauser was an elite shooter. This has translated to the NBA, where he averages 5.7 points and 2.4 rebounds on 43.6% from the field and 39.7% from 3.
Can They Win it All?
Over halfway through the season, the Celtics are betting favorites to win the NBA Championship, and rightfully so. This team is dominated by scoring prowess, star power, and elite rotational players. Their depth is what makes them so elite and should put them at the top of everyone’s NBA Championship predictions.
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