The Celtics pick their superheroes
The Celtics had goals for the regular season that, truth be told, didn’t exactly work out how they thought.
But through the ups and downs of this season, we have seen the Celtics of late find a happy balance between being the best version of themselves while doing so with greater consistency.
And in superhero-like-fashion, they have shown the power to overwhelm evil (or two-time defending NBA champion Golden State, whichever moniker you prefer) and slay both stiff (Indiana) and not-so-stiff (Miami twice, and Washington to close out the season) foes with a few superhero-like performances.
With that, here’s a look at some of the fictional superhero and villain favorites of the Celtics on the cusp of their first-round series against the Indiana Pacers:
Al Horford is...Batman
“Honestly, I like the last trilogy of the movies with Christopher Nolan. I just love that whole trio … just everything about it, more the villains to be honest. It’s one of those things, it’s like I love Batman but I love the Joker and Bane; Bane was awesome.”
It’s funny Horford should mention Bane because there was one Celtic player whose pick was – you got it – Bane.
Super stat: In the past eight games, Horford has averaged 18.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists while shooting 58.1 percent from the field and 45.4 percent from 3-point range.
Aron Baynes is...Batman
"Going back to when I was little, it was Batman. I'm DC [Comics fan]. It was a darker comic series when I was coming up. I was more dirt and grind, than Marvel or happy and ... I was down and dirty."
Super stat: Baynes has tallied three double-doubles in his past six games after racking up four all of last season.
Daniel Theis is...Wolverine
“I’ve been a fan since the first movie came out, with X-Men. With his claws, I love that.”
Super stat: Had a plus/minus of +50 on Dec. 8 against the Bulls, highest by a Celtic since the NBA started tracking it in 2000-01, and is tied for the fourth-largest plus/minus in NBA history.
Gordon Hayward is...Master Chief from Halo
“I would be Master Chief from Halo. That would be my go-to.”
Super stat: At Minnesota on Dec. 1, became the first player in NBA history to have at least 30 points, nine-plus rebounds, eight-plus assists and two-plus steals off the bench in a game.
Guerschon Yabusele is...The Hulk
“He’s a strong guy, green obviously. But he’s one of the best for me. He doesn’t really have any weakness.”
Super stat: For the second year in a row, his season high came in the final game of the season. Last season, he had 16 points in the season finale. This year, he had 13 against the Washington Wizards.
Jaylen Brown is...Thanos
“He’s got a … he’s misunderstood but has an important mission.”
Super stat: Only Kyrie Irving (45) and Jayson Tatum (21) have led the Celtics in scoring more than Brown (19).
Jayson Tatum is...The Flash
“I always wanted to be super, super-fast. And I like the color red.”
Super stat: Brown tallied a career-high 34 points vs the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 14, becoming the youngest Celtic to score 30 or more points since Antoine Walker on April 9, 1997.
Kyrie Irving is...Iron Man
“I like Iron Man. He’s Tony Stark. He’s an intellectual person, arrogant at times but I think that he has the world’s best interest at heart. He’s technology savvy … especially when I was a kid, when I was watching Iron Man and the movies started evolving, (Audi) R8 was one of my favorite cars that Tony Stark drove. If I had to be Tony Stark for a day and drive that for a day, I’m cool with it.”
Super stat: Along with leading the team in scoring, Kyrie Irving also led the Celtics in deflections (170) and loose balls recovered (118).
Robert Williams is...The Hulk
“He’s always been my favorite superhero. He’s just … transforms man, in a matter of seconds. You feel me? He turns on beast mode in a matter of seconds. That’s why I’ve always been a Hulk fan. I used to have these big ass toy Hulk gloves, me and my sister used to fight.
I’m all in on the Hulk.”
Super stat: With a 6.8 blocked shots per 48-minute average, Williams ranks third in the NBA.
Marcus Morris is...Bane
“Bane’s is a big, strong dude. I like his tone; the way he talks. Every time he talks, everybody listens. I like Bane.”
Super stat: He’s the only player 6-foot-9 or taller to have at least 80 made 3-pointers each of the past seven seasons, including this one.
Semi Ojeleye is...Wolverine
“I like Wolverine, though. It’s that he can heal. And he shows some emotion which some superheroes don’t do. I like that.”
Super stat: His defensive rating of 99.5 is second in the NBA among players to average at least 10 minutes played per game.
Terry Rozier is...Mystique
“She could be anybody. She could be a regular person, and take their powers. Hell yeah, that’s who I would be.”
Super stat: The Celtics are 23-3 when Terry Rozier starts, which includes 7-0 this season.