Before the trade deadline, the Celtics made a significant acquisition. They traded away Justin Jackson and two second-round picks, and Boston earned shooting big man Mike Muscala. Muscala has been an incredible role player for many NBA teams and will be incredibly helpful for a shooting team. However, Boston fans may know him as a lights-out three-point shooting center, but his playing career has much more depth.
Muscala was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 draft, where he was selected 44th overall by Dallas. He was doubted from the start and did not play on the Mavericks. He played overseas for the Rio Natura Monbus and played for the Atlanta Hawks the following year.
Atlanta loved Muscala, as he spent every year from 2014-2018 on the team. However, this stretch of time was the worst of his career, as he averaged less than 5 points per game with the team in 5 years. The second he signed on with the 76ers, everything changed.
His 20 minutes per game was the best of his career, and he averaged 7.6 points and 4.3 rebounds with great efficiency. The 6’11” big man was one of the best shooting bigs in basketball, where he averaged more than 34% from three for three straight seasons.
Throughout all of his career, he has averaged 6 points and 3 rebounds on shooting splits of 45.7% from the field and 38% from 3. Now after two games with the celtics he is averaging great stats, with 11 points and 3 rebounds per game with splits of 53.3% from the field and 46.2% from 3. He has done this with only 16 minutes played per game, with some of the best bench player stats this week.
How He Helps Boston
The Celtics dropped from No. 1 to No. 7 in team three-point percentage, so the addition to Muscala is perfect. They could move right back to No. 1 if given the opportunity, and he should be a great piece. He also shoots over 75% from the free-throw line, which is much better than the average big man. This could bring the Celtics to No. 1 in free throw percentage as well, which would benefit them greatly.
Outside of Al Horford and Robert Williams, the Celtics did not have any real big men. The addition of Muscala gives them flexibility, where they can have a big defender as well as a contributor to the stretch offense.
Muscala’s bread and butter is the catch-and-shoot three. With Tatum and Brown both known for attacking the rim, Muscala can fade from the crowd and find space to shoot when defenders prioritize the Jay’s. The pick and fade will be perfect for his game, and leave room in the paint for the stars to make magic happen. Mike Muscala is a welcome addition to Boston, and his offensive prowess will lead the team to incredible future success.
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