The jury is still out on just how good this current starting five for the Celtics really is and whether it’s the unit that they should go with heading into the playoffs.
Still, one thing is clear with this group: they are collective difference-makers at both ends of the floor.
The unit - Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford and Aron Baynes - has only played a total of 38 minutes in 11 games together this season. But in that time, they have generated an offensive rating of 132.9 with an equally-impressive defensive rating of 79.5. which delivers an eye-popping 53.4 net rating.
In Boston’s win over the Heat on Monday, this unit outscored the Heat. 27-17.
They will look to do more of the same tonight when they face the same Heat team, this time in Miami.
Here are some other statistics of note to get you ready for tonight’s game.
CELTICS WINNING COMBINATIONS
When they shoot...
.550 2-Point percentage AND 12 3-pointers: Celtics are 16-0
.500 field goal percentage AND .400 3-point percentage: Celtics are 13-0
.500 field goal percentage AND 30+ assists: Celtics are 15-1
.420 field goal percentage AND 12 offensive rebounds: Celtics are 11-0
50 points in paint AND 15 fast-break points: Celtics are 14-3
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
When it comes to shooting 3-pointers from the right corner, the Celtics are dead-last in the NBA at 28.2 percent. From the left corner? Different story. Boston has made 41.9 percent of its left corner 3’s, which ranks sixth in the NBA.
The Celtics have been among the best when it comes to the catch-and-shoot game, evident by them being ranked among the top-3 in points (32.9, third); field goal made (11.6, third); field goals attempted (29.4, second); 3-pointers made (9.6, second) and 3-pointers attempted (25.3, third).
IN THE BONUS
If the Celtics win tonight, Boston would take the season series for the third time in the past four years…Kyrie Irving is one of just four players averaging at least 23 points, seven assists and five rebounds this season. The others are Houston’s James Harden; the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook…Irving is the only player in the NBA ranked in the top-five for most points scored in the clutch (150, third) and most clutch assists (30, third)…There are three Celtics in double figures for charges drawn this season. They are Aron Baynes (18), Marcus Smart (15) and Irving (13).
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