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People are expecting big things of the Boston Celtics this season, but in at least one area, you can be sure they’ll end up coming up short.

The shortest in the entire league, actually.

Now, of course this isn’t as bad as it sounds, because I am being completely literal here - FiveThirtyEight’s Patrick Redford recently compiled the collective height of all players on every team in the NBA, and the Celtics are the shortest team out of 30.

Relax, you can close the Trade Machine as you scramble to find some taller options - there’s no evidence suggesting this is going to be a problem in a league that itself is trending smaller in terms of both play and roster construct, on a team level if not overall. And rebounding, at least on the offensive side of the court, is not as much of a concern as it once was, both in Boston and around the league.

The important thing is whether the team on the floor has the right pieces to compensate for creating matchup problems for the other team, and while height can be a factor, so can flexibility on defense, strength, athleticism, and team chemistry, all of which Boston has in droves.

So, don’t look at shortness as a negative attribute - in fact, it may be one of the defining qualities that makes this team successful this year, even if it occasionally made Isaiah Thomas frustrated last year. While height may still be an issue for man-to-man defense and scoring, it matters less on team defense, and when you have more than one (short) scoring option.

Since then, Danny Ainge and company have surrounded him with players like Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Gerald Green, who, while maybe not the tallest in the league at their respective positions, are nearly perfect compliments on both ends of the court.



Thomas and Bradley photo via www.csnne.com
NBA height graphic via FiveThirtyEight
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 10/20/2016 02:44:00 PM Edit
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