The Celtics’ Turnaround

After a 14-point loss on Nov. 1 and a dismal 2-5 start, Marcus Smart said Celtics teammates Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown “don’t want to pass the ball.” Two days later, they held a team meeting to hash things out.

Looks like all the C’s needed was some honest communication.

Since then, Boston is 8-3 (10-8 overall) and finally clicking behind a revitalized defense and the superstar play of Jayson Tatum.

  • Over the 11-game span, the Celtics have led the NBA in defensive rating (100.1), opponent PPG (96.5), and opponent FGM (35.1) — and have held opponents to fewer than 100 points six times.
  • Tatum has dropped 30+ points in four consecutive games — his seven games with at least 30 are tied for most in the NBA. 
  • Tatum and Smart are tied for the highest net rating on the team (14.4) among players averaging at least 30 minutes.
  • Brown (25 PPG) returned last night after missing the past eight games.

This Celtics team will live or die by their star trio — Tatum, Brown, and Smart are three of the four highest-paid players on the team, accounting for 47.6% of the team’s payroll ($69.2M).

Now with Brown back, this newfound chemistry will be tested at home against the 13-5 Nets tomorrow night on ESPN.