The Boston Celtics are having a great season collectively. They currently lead the Eastern Conference with the best record in the NBA: 43 wins and 12 losses. They also have the best offensive rating (points scored per 100 possessions), 120.8; the third best defensive rating (points received per 100 possessions), 110.5; and the best net rating, 10.3.

The Celtics, with and without Tatum

A large part of the Celtics' success is mainly due to their franchise player Jayson Tatum. The 25-year-old is the undisputed leader of the team. His averages this season are 27.1 PTS, 8.6 REB, 4.8 AST, 47.5 %TC, in 52 games, numbers that at the moment place him as fifth in the race for the MVP. And it is that his figure in the team is key, especially in a rotation as short as that of the Celtics.

Fuente: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Of the 55 games they have played so far, Tatum has been present in 52, getting a total of 41 wins. In the three games he didn't play, Boston managed two wins, against Raptors and Kings, and suffered a two-point loss to Pacers. Although there were only three games he missed, if we look at the stats for games with and without Tatum, we find the following:

  • With Tatum: 120.0 PTS, 26.0 AST, 47.9 %TC, 37.5 3P%.
  • Without Tatum: 131.7 PTS, 30.0 AST, 52.2 %TC, 48.3 3P%.

It is true that these are only three games, and it is difficult to draw clear conclusions, but I find the increase in shooting accuracy in those games especially significant. It is worth noting that the Kings (18th in the league), the Raptors (24th), and the Pacers (26th) defenses are not the best, and that is why, in those games, the Celtics were able to score 144, 120, and 131 points, respectively. On the other hand, they received 119, 118, and 133, which, seeing that the average of points they receive per game is 110.6, is at least striking, because although the Pacers are the second best offense in the league, neither the Kings nor the Raptors are in the top-10. It is also worth mentioning that these games were not consecutive, that is, it was not due to a bad streak of the team defensively.

Presence in the game

Looking at usage stats, we see that Tatum has a usage percentage of 29.4, scores 28.6% of his team's points, and dishes out 24.6% of the Celtics' assists. He also has the 8th best net rating in the league, and the 12th best PIE (estimated player impact).

But leaving aside the numbers, it is enough to watch a Celtics game to realize the real importance he has in the team. He is the one who takes responsibility in moments of maximum tension, and who leads the team when things get tough.

Standout performances this season.

So far this season there have been many occasions where he's gotten big performances, and these are a few of them:

  • 6/11/2023 vs MIN: 32 PTS, 5 REB, 5 ROB.
  • 11/20/2023 vs CHA: 45 PTS, 13 REB, 6 AST.
  • 6/1/2024 vs IND: 38 PTS, 13 REB, 6 AST.
  • 10/1/2024 vs MIN: 45 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST.
  • 1/22/2024 vs DAL: 39 PTS, 11 REB, 5 AST, 3 ROB, 2 TAP.
  • 2/13/2024 vs BKN: 41 PTS, 14 REB, 5 AST, 2 ROB, 1 TAP.

Celtics playoff expectations.

The Boston Celtics are having a very serious season at all levels, and have earned the right to be one of the clear favorites to take the ring. While it is true that the rotation seems to be a little short, due to the big difference in level between the most regulars and those who do not have many minutes, for the moment the coach, Joe Mazzulla, is managing it to perfection. Although with so few players, there is always the risk of an untimely injury that could derail the season's plans.

Fuente: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

We will see what happens with the Boston Celtics when the playoffs come, but if Jayson Tatum continues to play at the same level he has been playing at so far; the complements such as Brown, White, Porzingis, Holiday, or Horford, continue to contribute at a high level; and injuries respect them, a very bright future for the Green Pride can be foreshadowed.