The Boston Celtics have been the talk of the NBA through the first month of the season.
After losing star forward Gordon Hayward and the first two games of their season, the C’s have ripped off 15 wins in a row and currently top some NBA power rankings while looking like a legitimate NBA Finals contender.
But have the Celtics been overachieving during this impressive stretch? ESPN’s Brian Windhorst believes that to be the case.
“When you look at this team, they’re overachieving a little bit Cari,” Windhorst said, “because they’re a bottom 10 offensive team. In all honesty, as good as Kyrie Irving’s been, his stats are down from last year. His scoring is down, his shooting percentage is down, he actually can be better, I think, than he has been.
“Now their offense hasn’t been terrific and they’re still winning games, it just speaks to how good their defense is. When executives and scouts look at them they say, ‘alright, they are awesome, they won a whole bunch of games in a row, but they don’t have an offense that’s going to be able to carry them.’ They’ve had these incredible comebacks, they’ve had four comebacks of over 15 points, that’s historic for the first 20 games of the season.”
While Windhorst believes the Celtics have been able to mask some of their flaws, he thinks the experience and playing time that Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are getting has been very important.
“One good thing that, no matter what happens with this winning streak, their young guys, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, have been terrific. And this has been an opportunity, Jaylen Brown, for example, only got six shots a game last year, now he’s getting 13. All of a sudden, he’s way more involved.
“So even though the Celtics may be playing a little above their head right now, they definitely are planting some seeds that could help them down the line. I’m saying for a team that’s ranked 21st in offense, it’s surprising they’ve won 15 in a row.”
Boston will come back to Earth eventually, but the Celtics certainly look like a serious challenger in the Eastern Conference, and they’ll only get better as the season progresses.
Thumbnail photo via Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY Sports Images