Let’s get this right out of the way: Daniel Theis did not have one of the greatest games in NBA history Saturday night at the United Center. The fact that the Boston Celtics destroyed a pathetic Chicago Bulls team in early December immediately disqualifies Theis from the discussion.
But if you’re going strictly by the numbers, then Theis deserves to be mentioned — albeit briefly.
The Celtics forward had a ridiculous night in his team’s 133-77 dismantling of Chicago, logging a career-high 22 points to go along with 10 rebounds, five assists and four blocks. The 26-year-old also had one steal and zero turnovers while going 8-of-15 from the field and 2-of-4 from 3-point range. The craziest stat of all, however, is that Theis was a plus-50 (!!!) in 32 minutes — the highest plus-minus for a Celtic since the stat began being tracked in 2000.
Theis’ performance came in a game that set the record for the biggest win in Celtics history, largest loss in Bulls history and tied the largest margin of victory in a road game in NBA history.
History history history.
Here are the highlights from Theis career night, which came with fellow big men Al Horford and Aron Baynes on the bench:
What a night for the German Slim Shady.
The previous high for plus-minus from a Celtic was a plus-45 performance from Ray Allen in 2007. Jared Sullinger (LOL) and Jeff Green are next on the list with plus-43 and plus-42, respectively. Both of those games came during the 2013-14 season.
Theis nearly set the NBA record for plus-minus, too. The incomparable Luc Mbah a Moute is safe for now.
Again, you’d have to neglect all nuance if you wanted to claim Theis deserves to be alongside the likes of Wilt Chamberlain on the Mt. Rushmore of single-game NBA performances. But that doesn’t mean the versatile forward doesn’t deserve some credit for what was a truly impressive night.
As for the Celtics, they’ve now won five straight and seem to have righted the ship after a rough start to the 2018-19 campaign. Boston will be back in action Monday night when it hosts the New Orleans Pelicans at TD Garden.
That game, of course, will be billed as a showdown between the homeless man’s Anthony Davis and the real Anthony Davis.
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Thumbnail photo via Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports Images