Biggest surprises so far this season

As we pass the quarter mark on this season lets take a look at some of the biggest surprises so far from our beloved Boston Celtics. Raise your hand if you thought the Celtics would be atop the Atlantic Division standings as we approached Christmas? Anyone? I was all for the “Riggin for Wiggins” and the extremely talent rich draft ahead. It appears however that this group of players has a different plan. They have embraced their new young head coach and he has the team playing at a level higher than most of us could have expected. His brand of inside-out drive and kick offense seems to be perfect for a team with an abundance of talented wing players and spot up big men. They are rebounding a lot better on the defensive end of the floor and seem to want to make a point that there will be no tanking in Boston this winter.

Jared Sullinger. When the Celtics drafted him 21st overall I was fairly optimistic that he would be a decent NBA big with a fairly long career ahead of him. He had himself a decent rookie season ( 6ppg and 6rpg ) until a back injury that required surgery ended his season after 45 games. I was worried a bit as back injuries can always bring a quick end to an athlete’s career but fast forward to this year and “Sully” has emerged as one of the Celtics best players. He currently leads the team in rebounding ( 6.9) , is third in scoring at 13.5 ppg and is tied for 4th in assists per game. His touch around the basket and ability to make clutch shots from as far out as the 3pt line has made him a fan favorite and a vital part of this teams success going forward.

Jamal Crawford. Not bad for a guy who we acquired for Jason Collins and the expiring contract of Leandro Barbosa. He has proven himself to be a lot more efficient running the offense than we could have imagined and his ability to make tough shots as he contorts his way through the defense is always something fun to see. He is currently second on the team in scoring behind Jeff Green and leads the team in assists at 5.5 per game for an almost 3-1 assist to turnover ratio. Mix in the steals and the fact that he leads the team in PER ( Player Efficiency Rating) at 18.5 and you have yourself a steal for the price we paid and a bona fide 2nd option.

This team is currently without its best player and floor general and its managed to be 4-0 in games decided by 5 points or less , not to mention its 4th in points against in the Eastern Conference and always seems to fight back any time they are behind by a wide margin. The heart they have displayed so far this season has helped them become a much better team than we could have imagined in early November , and it would appear that with their leader coming back in a month they will only get better. Stories are now popping up about them being in on trades for players such as Omer Asik and Austin Rivers as well as people questioning if they should be sellers or buyers at the trade deadline. One thing is for sure , this has turned out a lot more interesting so far than we could have thought.

Rob Carbone – Celtics Beat Writer

Comments

  1. Jamal Crawford plays for the Clippers

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