The Boston Celtics extended their perfect record when Daniel Theis leads the team in scoring to 1-0 Friday, gumming up the Pistons offense for three quarters and cruising to a 110-98 win in Detroit.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 24, 2018
Theis was deadly from short range and long, and added several determined putbacks on the offensive end, scoring 19 points on just 10 shots to go with a team-high 7 rebounds. He also led the Celtics in both steals and blocked shots (2 apiece.)
Two of Theis’s points came on a shifty bounce pass from Jaylen Brown — nearby.
When Theis first entered the game late in the first quarter, Boston trailed by six points — and had been outscored in the paint 12-6.
The Bench is Back
Indeed, once again several Celtics coming off the bench led the team in plus-minus: Morris, Smart, and Scary Terry Rozier (each +15) sparked a 15-minute rally to turn the ship around. The Celtics built a 12-point lead by halftime and never really looked back.
Smart once again led the team in rebound assists with 9, and looked like several weeks off hadn’t done him any damage. Indeed, he seemed to have an extra spring in his step in converting two well-contested assaults on the rim. Smart finished with 12 points on just 9 shots to go with 6 assists.
Rozier led the team in assists with 7, while Kyrie Irving added 18 points on 7 of 14 shooting — one of six Celtics in double figures. The Celtics starters played just 102 combined minutes; the bench, 138.
“I wanted to make some adjustments in the rotations,” Brad Stevens said after the game. Evidently it worked.