OffRtg: 119.4 (1) DefRtg: 112.8 (22) NetRtg: +6.5 (3) Pace: 98.8 (22)
Jayson Tatum has quickly evolved into a superstar of the highest level. With more than 30 points in each of his last four games (including a season-high 43 in Detroit on Saturday), he’s averaging 32.3 ppg on 50/39/87 shooting splits. His true shooting percentage (65.3%) would be the fourth highest (trailing only three Stephen Curry seasons, including this one) for a player who averaged at least 30 points per game. And he’s just doing some incredibly-skilled stuff — ridiculously quick crossover off the catch, spin-dribble-behind-the-back combo in transition, tough finishes in the paint — to hit those numbers.
But Tatum isn’t monopolizing Celtics’ possessions, whatsoever. He ranks 48th in time of possession at 4.4 minutes per game (down from 4.7 last season), he quickly gets off the ball (almost always making the right read) when the defense sends a second defender at him, and he’s been assisted on 58% of his own buckets. That’s his highest rate in the last four seasons and up from 47% last season.
As a team, the Celtics have seen the league’s second biggest jump in assist/turnover ratio, from 1.82 (11th) last season to 2.06 (second) this season. And through Week 4, they’ve scored 3.4 more points per 100 possessions than any other team. That would be the biggest differential between the first and second-ranked offenses in the 27 seasons for which we have play-by-play data.
The Celtics have won six straight to climb within a half game of the first-place Bucks (who they’ll face for the first time on Christmas). Their last five games have come against teams that currently rank in the bottom 10 defensively, and their next five are against defenses that rank no lower than 15th.
Week 5: vs. OKC, @ ATL @ NOP