Don’t be surprised if some seven-foot giant with a shaved head and a Viking beard is banging around TD Garden tomorrow. First, let’s just update you on what Aron Baynes looks like:
Playoff Baynes has been activated and the Celtics could really use him Sunday against the Rockets before the team heads out on a four-game California trip. After fracturing the fourth metacarpal in his left hand on December 19th, he returned in mid-January for a nine-game stretch where the team went 8-1 with their only loss to the Golden State Warriors. He then suffered a bone bruise in New York at the start of January that has forced the big man to miss the last eleven games. Per the team, Baynes is officially questionable against Houston.
Aron Baynes going through some pick and roll drills: pic.twitter.com/jO3atqcgaI— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) March 1, 2019
In fifteen minutes a game, he’s averaging a modest 5.7 points and 4.3 rebounds. Baynes has only played in 34 games this season, but his on court effect on the game couldn’t be more obvious. Of the ten rotation players (including Daniel Theis who has been filling in for Baynes sporadically in his absence), Baynes has the highest NetRtg of 10.5. With him on the floor, the Celtics average a team-high 97.9 DefRtg; off the court, that balloons to 106.0. It’s no surprise why the team has taken it slow and steady with his return.
But if a picture is worth a thousand words, this video of Baynes itching to get back and punting a ball at the Auerbach Center counts for a million: