After 25 games, the Boston Celtics currently sit atop the league with 20 wins. The league leading Celtics have an overall 20-5 record.
As a team that was a title favorite and projected to win 55 games coming into the season, the hot start might not be completely shocking. However, what they’re doing offensively is.
I’ve written about this before, but nothing has changed since then. The Celtics are still the best offense in the history of the NBA, based on offensive rating. The team currently possesses a 120.0 rating.
Their stellar offensive rise has definitely garnered the attention of the entire league. Although the defense isn’t anywhere near where it was a year ago, it’s still solid.
The team has whethered the storm of the Ime Udoka scandal. Boston has been better than anyone could have ever expected. Especially considering the circumstances coming in.
Here’s a look at where the Celtics stand through 25 games.
Here’s a look at where the Celtics currently stand in the league rankings in key offensive categories:
- Field Goals Made Per Game: 42.7 (9th)
- Field Goals Attempted Per Game: 86.4 (21st)
- Field Goal Percentage: 49.4% (3rd)
- True Shooting Percentage: 62.7% (1st)
- Three Pointers Attempted Per Game: 41.4 (2nd)
- Three Pointers Made Per Game: 16.6 (1st)
- Three Point Percentage: 40.2% (1st)
- Assists Per Game: 27.0 (9th)
- Turnovers Per Game: 13.8 (6th fewest in the league)
A lot of this comes from the style of the Celtics’ offense. It’s a wildly efficient system. A lot of which is ball movement and player movement leading to open layups and open threes. Boston creates high quality shots for its players.
The Celtics offense is predicated on this efficiency, by being top ten in field goals made and top three in field goal percentage, but just 21st in field goals attempted.
These stats provide insight into how the Celtics offense is currently flourishing, but the best part is, the eye test backs these stats up.
The offense has been uber efficient and incredibly fun to watch. The play team basketball, and take high IQ shots. They don’t throw up a ton of looks and just make a lot because they shoot a lot. This is absolutely a championship caliber offense that can go up against anyone in this league.
Defensively, where the Celtics were historically great last year, started off slow out of the gate. The defense has since picked up a bit however.
Here is where the Celtics currently rank amongst the league in some key defensive categories:
- Defensive Rating: 111.5 (15th)
- Points Allowed Per Game: 112.6 (13th)
- Opponent Field Goal Percentage: 46.9% (17th)
- Opponent Three Point Percentage: 35.4% (16th)
- Blocks Per Game: 5.1 (12th)
As it currently stands, the defense is middle of the road. Again, the really poor start to the season is a big reason for that. Their defensive play the last couple weeks has looked much better.
It does have to be noted that defensive anchor down low Robert Williams hasn’t played a single game. His absence I believe is definitely a factor. He should be returning soon, which will only make Boston’s defense better.
I’m not sure if they can reach the insane levels the defense was at last year, but if they can get even close it’s a huge win. Even with an okay defense right now, Boston is still first in the NBA in net rating with a +8.5.
POINTS OF WEAKNESS
Although the C’s have been the best team in basketball, they still have a few areas where they struggle a bit. Here are some of the areas where Boston has been less than stellar this season:
- Rebounds Per Game: 42.4 (25th)
- Offensive Rebounds Per Game: 8.2 (27th)
- Steals Per Game: 6.1 (30th)
Rebounding has been the main issue for Boston. They’ve struggled mightily on the boards through the first quarter of the season. This of course should also be helped with the return of Robert Williams.
However steals being last in the NBA is a slight concern. Especially for a team who finished 19th in the league with 7.2 last year.
25 games and just under two months into the season, the Celtics are atop the leaderboard in some important categories. With Robert Williams coming back, they are seemingly only going to improve.
The Celtics have a deep team that plays for each other. The chemistry is a huge reason for the early success. These players are a family, and genuinely enjoy playing together. It’s a winning culture in Boston, period.
It also helps when you have two of the best players in the league on their roster with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. This duo, which is arguably the best in the NBA, have been on another level so far this season.
Tatum in particular has been so good, even Charles Barkley has taken notice of his and Boston’s play this season:
There’s a long season ahead, but so far, so good for the Boston Celtics.
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