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With the addition of Greg Monroe to the Celtics' ranks the front court has become somewhat crowded. With 20 games left in the regular season, Coach Brad Stevens will be trying to acclimate Greg into his system while trying to determine optimum lineups for the playoffs. One thing seems crystal clear to me. Daniel Theis getting more minutes would be a positive move for the Celtics. Look at Daniel's projected per-36-minute numbers from November compared to his past five games:

November, 2017

11.9 PPG - 12.5 RPG - 2.4 BPG - 1.4 SPG - 6.6 FPG - .535 FG% - .250 3's - .733 FT% - plus/minus -1.2 (240th in NBA)

Last five games

18.0 PPG - 12.2 RPG - 2.1 BPG - 1.3 SPG - 6.3 FPG - .615 FG% - .400 3's - .900 FT% - plus/minus +14.3 (33rd in NBA)

The numbers tell us a lot. First of all, it looks like Theis would foul out of a lot of games at the 36-minute rate (6.6/game), but so would Aron Baynes (7.0 FPG per 36 minutes/last five games). Daniel's recent rebound, block and steal numbers are close to those in November. He has done well in these categories since his debut.

His point totals and shooting accuracy from everywhere have improved significantly. But the biggest find from the numbers are in the plus/minus category. From a minus-1.2 (rated 240th in the League) to a plus-14.3 (33rd in the League) is huge.


As he proved in a January game against the Pelicans, Theis can handle the bigs but he can also guard the faster little guys. He could end up being a near-perfect, small-ball center. He is a natural rebounder and can protect the rim despite his 6'8"-6'9" height. And he is shooting well from outside.

I am skeptical of rookies given a lot of play in the post-season, but Theis is no ordinary rookie. He is 25-years-old and has been playing pro ball in Europe since 2009. He started the season as an important cog in Boston's bench, and it may be time to look at him as a talented, versatile solution to the various line-ups that the Celtics will face in the post-season.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Matt Stone/Boston Herald












Tom Lane 2/28/2018 08:02:00 AM Edit
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