These stats highlight Celtics' eye-opening turnaround amid win streak
Rumors of the Boston Celtics' demise has been greatly exaggerated.
After stumbling to a 10-10 start to the 2018-19 season, the Celtics appear to be silencing their critics, entering Wednesday riding a season-long six-game winning streak.
Yes, those wins have come against largely mediocre competition, but Boston has played objectively better basketball over the last two-plus weeks.
Rather than tell you ourselves, though, we have some stats to prove it. Here's a by-the-numbers look at who has stepped up during the Celtics' recent run.
1. Jaylen Brown is back.
A lower back injury against the Dallas Mavericks on Nov. 24 may have been the best thing to happen to Brown.
The 22-year-old has come off the bench since returning from that injury, and the move to the second unit has done wonders for his game.
Brown is shooting exponentially better from the floor and also looks much more aggressive, a sign of brighter things to come for the young swingman.
2. Kyrie Irving is finding his groove.
Perhaps rust played a factor in Irving's rocky start to the season as he returned from an offseason knee procedure.
That rust appears to be gone, however, as the All-Star point guard is scoring much more efficiently while increasing his assist rate as Boston's primary playmaker.
3. Marcus Smart is a difference-maker.
No, Smart doesn't have the best shooting percentage. No, he's not averaging 20 points per game.
But the scrappy guard has made a huge impact since taking Brown's spot in the starting lineup, and the Celtic's absurd net rating (the team's point differential per 100 possessions while Smart is on the court) proves that.
4. The C's have improved across the board.
It shouldn't surprise you, but Boston has jumped in several major statistical categories over its past six games.
Brown, Irving and Smart aren't the only players making an impact, either, as Gordon Hayward has stepped up while role players such as Daniel Theis and Robert Williams III have made their mark.