Yes, I know that Thanksgiving has come and gone, but I’m still using this article idea in the tradition of eating leftovers for days after the fact.
We’re over a quarter of the way through the season, and the team has only lost 3 games so far. They are on pace for 70 wins, which nobody should expect. Of course, nobody expected this after the Gordon Hayward injury (or before that really).
So what are some specific things that this team should be thankful for?
Let’s start at the top, as in the very top. They have an ownership group that does things the right way and has trust in the GM and coach to do their jobs the right way. Speaking of which, Danny Ainge needed every bit of that trust to trade away a player as beloved as Isaiah Thomas was and is in Boston. But that move and seemingly every other one has been a home run.
Brad Stevens is amazing. Flat out. I don’t know how he does it, but he’s doing it about as well as anyone in the league right now. There are several great coaches in the league, so it is silly to split hairs and say who is the “best,” but Brad Stevens is as good as any of them.
Kyrie Irving is a blur with the ball in his hands, and it doesn’t seem fair for him to hit some of the shots that he hits routinely. Al Horford has played his best basketball, and he headlines the league’s best defense. Those two are locks for the All-Star team.
You could start making a case for Jaylen Brown on the All-Star team as well (depending on how the rest of the roster starts to shake out). He’s been fearless from the jump, and his game has evolved with his increased minutes and role.
A guy that should be featured in many All-Star games for years to come is Jayson Tatum. The scouting reports didn’t do him justice. The proverbial “they” said he was a gifted scorer but relied upon his midrange game of contested shots too much. Well, for the Celtics, he’s taking 3s with confidence and accuracy and driving to the hoop with aggression. They said he might struggle on defense, but he has used his length and basketball smarts to be a lot better on that side than anyone could have expected.
Marcus Smart has struggled shooting, but he’s excelled in every other aspect of the game. To wit, Achilles has his heel, but man is he impressive anyway.
Virtually every player on the roster has played better than I expected coming into the season. Terry Rozier III is starting to put things together and make great use of his talents. Marcus Morris is a versatile scorer and defender. Semi Ojeleye is a 3-and-D specialist. Daniel Theis is a pogo stick on defense. Aron Baynes is a beast.
Yup, there’s a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to for the rest of the year.
As always, I’m especially thankful for each of you who reads this blog every day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Cheers and God bless.
(See below for a Facebook Live show I did a week ago)
We have a lot to be thankful for. Join me now to chat about it.Posted by Celtics Blog on Tuesday, November 21, 2017