In his Boston Celtics debut, albeit a preseason game, Daniel Theis looked tremendous against NBA-level competition as he stuffed the stat sheet finishing with 12 points on 5 of 8 shooting to go along with 7 rebounds and 3 assists in just 14 minutes on the floor, earning himself player of the game last night:
Theis is known for his defensive prowess, he considers himself a big Marcus Smart, but last night he went beyond that and put on a show on the offensive end of the floor as well. He scored off the ball rolling to the hoop, driving in the half-court offense, running the floor in transition, and even showed off his range burying his only attempt from three. He even got himself a nice and-1 late in the 4th to help put away the Hornets:
Coach Brad Stevens was very impressed with the Celtics newest addition from overseas in his first NBA action, and he clearly likes getting the ball to Theis moving toward the hoop. Via Taylor Snow of Celtics.com:
“He was really good,” coach Brad Stevens reflected. “He was quick to the rim, and we needed that. He was getting behind on rolls, got his hands on a couple of balls and kept them alive, had the tip-dunk at the end of the quarter off of the roll. And that’s what he does best. He can shoot the ball, he can play in space, but he’s very quick to the rim.”
Theis, a 25-year old rookie, signed with the Celtics this offseason and while he may be new to the NBA he's played professional ball in Germany for 8 years. He said after last night's game that although he's been adjusting to the speed of the NBA, basketball is basketball, and he knows how to play:
“I’ve been playing professionally for eight years, so it was something new, but it still was not so new,” said Theis. “I just tried to enjoy it and just play basketball. It’s the same game I’ve been playing for years.”
With a huge roster turnover in Boston it would seem that there's plenty of minutes in the Celtics rotation up for grabs. If Theis follows up with more solid performances throughout the preseason it's going to be hard for Stevens to keep him off the floor when the games actually count. We know Brad loves guys that play hard on both ends of the floor and it sure looks like Theis fits that mold. He's a long guy that can guard multiple positions, two more of Stevens favorite attributes.
Celtics' Twitter exploded after Theis came out and put on a show last night: