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Boston Celtics Are Clicking Early
- Updated: November 16, 2015
Nine games into the season, a 5-4 record and a 100-85 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder; the Boston Celtics are looking like they are finding their form early in the season.
Second year Guard Marcus Smart has been building upon his first year form with consistent scoring and production averaging 12.5 points, and scoring a career high 26 points against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder.
While last season the Celtics found that Smart is an excellent on-ball defender, he did struggle to find consistent double figure scoring, however that may be due to the time missed with his ankle injury and the fact that Isaiah Thomas arrived to take the teams scoring load.
And while Smart is finding his scoring form, Jared Sullinger and Isaiah Thomas are becoming the two leaders on the team on both ends of the floor.
Thomas had a strong night with 19 points and 8 assists, continuing on with his form from last season by averaging 20 points and 6 assists per game. And Sullinger is still plating at a high level after his off-season transformation of 10 points and 9 rebounds, while getting 8 and 15 in OKC.
The Celtics sit 7th in an Eastern Conference that looks much stronger than it did last season with many teams making big signings in the off-season.
But after stumbling early in the season, the Celtics have found their form and rhythm by playing a style of basketball that has them playing the 6th highest pace in the league, with the 4th best defense. This is down to the Celtics fast paced and locked down backcourt with one-two punch of Thomas and Smart, with Sullinger and new addition Amir Johnson adding solid D inside while cleaning up the boards.
But what the Celtics do need to try to improve is to get point production from more than just Isaiah Thomas. The Celtics are ranked 17th in offensive rating, and that is due to the fact that Thomas has a 30% usage rating, almost double the usage of both Smart and Avery Bradley (who are the Celtics’ 2nd/3rd scorers).
The Celtics have 9 games left in November and they will be hoping to come away with a 5-4 record, which looks to be a real possibility with their current form.