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HomeNewsThe Celtics' numerous small details—which might be crucial come June—make them the...

The Celtics’ numerous small details—which might be crucial come June—make them the best team in the NBA.

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Even though Boston’s performance on Christmas Day wasn’t at its best, it managed to withstand Lakers star Anthony Davis’ 40-point effort with a quiet effort.

Celtics
Celtics

For almost ten years, the Boston Celtics have consistently finished in the top half of the Eastern Conference. However, despite numerous iterations that have competed during the Jayson Tatum era, they have yet to overcome the barrier and win a championship.

Even though it still occasionally dances with volatility and exhibits signs of combustion in real-time moments, this version feels a little different.

Even though the Celtics defeated the Lakers 126-115 on Christmas Day, they didn’t play their best game, but one thing is certain: Their best game of the season is superior to everyone else’s. Although it hasn’t felt that way for the past six years, that is how things feel right now.

With a flurry of 3-pointers, blocks, and stops, their six best players flatten the opposition and do it in the blink of an eye.

Greetings from the NBA, where there are snacks in the back that the people from Las Vegas didn’t finish during the in-season tournament. Even though some teams have played nearly 30 games, Christmas Day is considered the unofficial start of the NBA season.

The Celtics’ 23-6 record and the fact that Tatum’s production has increased even further from the previous season do not make them the best team in the league. They’re the best team thus far because they can fight fire with fire and withstand an Anthony Davis barrage of 40 points. Additionally, an import player by the name of Kristaps PorziņĿis kept Davis and the Lakers busy all night with 28 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks, and so many different rim shots that he might as well be referred to as “The Tailor.” When he was not there, the Lakers saw ghosts, and when they attacked the rim, they had no idea how long he was.

It goes beyond this particular game, though. Drawing such inferences by concentrating on a single incident would be foolish. His field goal percentage is at a career-high (53%) while he is shooting a career-low 12 shots per game, but he is still scoring close to 20 points per night. He has been doing this all season, blending in with the Celtics with ease.

His adaptability releases the offense and tightens the defense, relieving Jaylen Brown and Tatum of the pressure to give it their all every time down.

Since I’ve been with the Celtics, we haven’t had a low-post presence like that, according to Tatum. “It causes a great deal of issues.”

Because the NBA moves so quickly and there are so many new players joining the league, it’s simple for someone like PorziŇģis to get lost in the chaos. He carried the stench with him when he left Dallas because things didn’t exactly work out between him and Luka Dončić.

Any production would come with an asterisk because it is always assumed that good players are also unserious people when they play for a very unprofessional team in Washington.

“I’m playing well, but I did well last year too,” Porziņċis remarked. “But you know, nobody saw that?”

Or, given that he had to battle reliability and injuries for so long at each stop, nobody understood how to put it into perspective. Though his trade to the Boston Celtics didn’t cause as much controversy as, say, the Damian Lillard trade, there was still some question about how, if he stayed healthy, he could benefit the team.

They always remain prepared for shrewd moves, which is why they were fine with Marcus Smart traveling to Memphis to acquire someone like PorziņĢis, even before their acquisition of Jrue Holiday or even a hint that he would be available.

They benefited from all the Lillard drama that transpired during the summer when the Bucks traded a franchise player in Holiday to improve at the position. The Bucks were unaware that Holiday would be traded to Boston in a subsequent deal, joining Derrick White in a backcourt that both helps the Celtics play at a faster pace than most teams and wreaks havoc on opposing backcourts.

Holiday has experience leading a championship team. He made 3-of-5 3-pointers en route to scoring 18 points, pulling down seven rebounds, and dishing out seven assists. The Bucks didn’t appear like champions until they did in 2021, but they did go through many trials where it seemed like things would fail but didn’t.

The Celtics are ranked 24th in terms of pace, but they shoot and make more 3-pointers than any other team in the league, and they do so in waves. You would be mistaken if you believed that the Celtics’ lopsided victory over the Lakers on Monday was a result of their superiority in that area. The Lakers shot 10 percentage points better with the same number of makes than the Celtics, who only shot 31% from beyond the arc.

But they held LeBron James in check, limiting him to 16 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. They did this by putting multiple defenders in his face and feeling fairly comfortable doing so. As a result, they were able to withstand a few runs from the Lakers.

The Celtics were rarely off balance, never gave in, and never gave anything more than the necessary fear that James’s very presence demands, so there was only so much analysis that James’ supercomputer could do.

Holiday and Porziņģis raved about White and how underappreciated he is. After a year or so, he feels so much more at ease with the Celtics than he did at first, which is a testament to both his character as a basketball player and to good, old-fashioned player development.

Within two years, his 3-point percentage went from 31 to 42. He no longer hesitates to launch 3-pointers. Although he has always been a tough player on defense and a manic player—which is why the Celtics were on the verge of history with his tip-in at the buzzer of Game 6 in the Eastern Conference finals last spring—he now brings the team together with his improved confidence and shooting.

These pieces give the Celtics the complete package, allowing Tatum to play the game without thinking that he needs to score forty points every night in order for them to win. Although he’s already quite polished, the offensive package has been improved. Nevertheless, he appears more at ease letting the game find him rather than actively seeking it out.

He knew that drawing attention to himself is his main responsibility, so he frequently let plays be made for him while still operating inside the offensive system. James was having a bad night, so he resisted the urge to attack him and set up an unfair matchup.

“Bron deserves a lot of credit; he’s been the most all-around player in the game for a very long time,” Tatum remarked. You can gain knowledge about a lot of things, such as how he thinks three steps ahead of everyone else in game two. Also, as a younger player, you should constantly be looking for methods to influence the game. However, I still strive to be the best player and to dominate.

They’re not the best team yet because of a single quality, but rather a combination of them all. Hopefully, this will keep up until June.

You’re all caught up now, welcome to the NBA season.

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