Do the Boston Celtics Have an All-Star on Their Roster?
Last season, just their second under head coach Brad Stevens, the Boston Celtics won 24 of their final 37 games to finish 40-42 and snuck in as the 7 seed in the Eastern Conference.
To start this year, the Celtics are playing well, owning a record of 14-11 and the third best point differential in the Eastern Conference.
Boston’s identity comes on the defensive end of the floor, as they rank third in the league with a 99.4 Defensive Rating. In general, most playoff-bound team rely on an All-Star caliber player to carry the team through rough patches, but do the Celtics have a true All-Star?
Thomas leads the team in several categories: 23.1 points per-36 minutes, a 110 Offensive Rating, a 21.4 Player Efficiency Rating (PER), and .182 Win Shares per 48 minutes. Thomas also ranks ninth in the league with a 36.1% assist percentage.
Additionally, our metrics have Thomas with a 7.3 nERD, good for the 24th best in the league. This means he would add about seven wins to a team of league-average players over a full season.
Bradley leads Boston in three-point percentage at 42%, and Crowder ranks second on the team with .143 Win Shares per 48, but neither measure up to Thomas in any other category.
So, Thomas is clearly the Celtics’ best player, but how does he stack up against other guards who he will be competing with for a spot in the All-Star game?
In terms of nERD, Thomas ranks fourth among Eastern Conference guards, trailing Kemba Walker (7.8), Jimmy Butler (11.6), and Kyle Lowry (15.2). Also, Thomas’ PER ranks third in the East, trailing just Reggie Jackson and Lowry. Lastly, Thomas comes in third in terms of Win Shares per 48, behind Lowry and Butler.
Thomas is an integral part of the Boston Celtics’ success and has played well enough to deserve recognition in the 2016 NBA All-Star game.
He’s one of the top five guards in the Eastern Conference, as many of the statistics show.
The Celtics are a strong defensive team, led by a great young coach and an exciting point guard; when general manager Danny Ainge cashes in on all the assets he’s been stocking, watch out!