BOSTON — The Boston Celtics have scored 120-plus points in five straight games. A dominant offensive run that has been highlighted by historic numbers.
Over the course of their five-game winning streak, Boston has combined to outscore its opponents by an average of 17.6 points per game. The Celtics’ offensive rating over that stretch averages out to 1.332, which is solid considering the NBA average this season is 1.122 and the NBA record stretched across an entire season is 1.183, according to Celtics radio voice Sean Grande. In other words, this is about as good a stretch of offensive basketball you are likely to see.
Naturally, Celtics interim head coach Joe Mazzulla was asked about his team’s offense after a Jayson Tatum firestorm in Boston’s victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night. He used a few different buzzwords to describe the performance, none of which were “luck.”
“(It’s been about) spacing, ball movement and making the right play. I don’t know that I believe in luck,” Mazzulla said. “I believe in spacing, ball movement and making the right play. Hopefully our guys continue to do that (and) stay confident. I thought we did a good job fighting for offensive rebounds, I think we had 11. That’s probably a team high for us. It was good.”
Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens seemingly built the perfect roster around his two young stars, Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Marcus Smart has taken on a more prominent role handling the ball, which has helped Boston cut down on turnovers — while Sam Hauser, Al Horford, Derrick White, Grant Williams and Malcolm Brogdon are all shooting higher than 45% from beyond the arc, allowing Tatum and Brown to get downhill and attack the rim on a more consistent basis.
Tatum is averaging a career-high 8.5 free throw attempts per game, while Brown is up to a career high in free throw attempts (5), points (26.1) and effective field goal percentage (.565).