We're less than one month into the NBA season and the Boston Celtics are No. 1 in the league at forcing turnovers. Opponents are turning the ball over 17.4 percent of the time against Boston, which is extraordinary.
Since 2000, no NBA team has had an opponent turnover percentage of over 16.5 percent, per BBall-Reference. Between 1977 and 1999, only 32 teams accomplished this.
The fact no team has done it since 2000 is significant, since in 2000 the NBA made "chucking" or "wrapping up" illegal, among many other new rules that was supposed to help players score, but it also cut down on turnovers.
Led by Jae Crowder, who leads the NBA with 2.8 steals per game, the Celtics are tallying 11.4 steals per 100 possessions. No team since 2000 has averaged over 11.0 for a full year.
And though we're working with a small sample size, only two teams have done it by Nov. 22 in their respective years (Philadelphia in 2002-03 and Charlotte in 2005-06).
With the NBA's third-best defensive rating (95.0) and sixth-best Net Rating (+6.6), the arrow is trending up for Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics.