After clinching a playoff spot in Tuesday’s win against the Indiana Pacers, the Boston Celtics are 5-5 in their last 10 games and currently sit firmly in the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference. They’ve hit a slump after the All-Star break and have had some pretty frustrating losses, but if they are still being considered a contender in this year’s playoffs, it’s partly because of Daniel Theis.
In his third season in Boston, the center has been playing some of the best basketball of his career over the past couple of months. After averaging 5.3 points and 3.4 rebounds in his 63 games played last season, his production has almost doubled this year, averaging 9.3 points and 6.6 rebounds through 58 games.
Though he has been solid all season, his game has turned up several notches since the All-Star break. In his last 10 games, Theis is averaging 13.9 points and 8.1 rebounds while shooting 62.8 percent.
Theis Putting Up Consistent Numbers All Season
Against Indiana, Theis put up 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting, ending the night as Boston’s third-leading scorer behind Jayson Tatum (30 points) and Gordon Hayward (27 points). After the C’s gave up yet another double-digit lead, Theis hit a crucial 3-pointer in the fourth to tie the game back up at 107 and give Boston back the momentum to carry out the much-needed win.
He has now scored in double figures for the 27th time this season—almost half as many games played—and it was the second time this season he scored at least 20, with the first coming on Feb. 21 when he scored 25 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Filling the ‘Big Man’ Void
When Al Horford left the Celtics for Philadelphia in the off-season, many worried about the void his absence would leave in the locker room and in the center position, but Theis has quietly stepped in to fill it.
With Robert Williams consistently battling injuries and Enes Kanter often proving to be a liability on defense, Theis has proven to be a valuable asset, even though his contract does not reflect it.