The NBA has morphed into a league that is largely dominated by superstars. Players like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant steal headlines because they are the cream of the crop when it comes to playing basketball. However, one team that is still succeeding off a team-concept is the Boston Celtics, especially since the injury to Rajon Rondo.
Boston obviously has high-profile players like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett on their roster, but those guys are also in the twilight of their careers. Pierce and Garnett can’t dominate games like they used to be able to. That hasn’t stopped the Celtics from finding ways to come out on top of most of their games.
The perfect example of how they are playing came on Saturday night against the Charlotte Bobcats. Garnett was sidelined with a minor injury, but that didn’t stop the Celtics from dominating the lowly Bobcats, 105-88. More impressive than winning without Garnett was how they were able to find success.
In the game against Charlotte, the Celtics had six players that scored in double-figures and all 11 players that played scored five points or more. Boston also didn’t have a player that scored more than 15 points. That’s about as balanced as an offense can get. In addition to that, the Celtics also notched 28 assists as a team on 41 made field goal attempts. That’s an absolutely absurd number, but it’s also indicative of how Boston has been playing.
The Celtics aren’t a team that’s going to work out of isolation or one pass. Since the Rondo injury, they have become one of the best teams in the NBA when it comes to ball-movement and making the extra pass. There’s no one on the team who is playing “me-first” basketball—it’s been all about the team.
Whether or not this team concept will carry the Celtics to ultimate success is obviously yet to be determined. What is for sure is that it goes largely against the norm of what is typical in the NBA these days. It’s also obvious that it can still be an effective way to get victories, as Boston has been proving.