USA Today Sports/Jerome Miron

Brad Stevens gives Daniel Theis credit for adapting to NBA

Greg Levinsky
December 06, 2017 - 7:26 pm

Just 24 games into his Celtics career, NBA rookie forward Daniel Theis has proven himself to be a microcosm of coach Brad Stevens’ system.

The consummate “energy guy,” the 25-year-old German displays an infectious garbage man mentality every time he steps on the floor. Whether it be a putback dunk, swatting an opponent's shot to the stands, or swiping the ball from an opposing big, Theis seems to know what he needs to bring on a nightly basis to play for the East-leading Celtics.

And speaking before Wednesday's game against the Mavericks, Stevens gave Theis credit for the way he's adapted to his role in a new league. 

“He plays with a high motor, so he’s always in position,” Stevens said. “He will not give up on a play until that play is over.”

Not only is it visible to the eye, but the hustle stats show the industrious German's off-ball value. Despite being 10th on the team in minutes, he ranks third in screen assists, has 16 deflections and nine loose ball recoveries which all rank near the top of the Green's list.

“He’s quick, he’s long,” added Stevens. “He’s got long arms, he’s in good position and moves his feet really well. I think add all those thingers together and he’s a pretty good defender.”

A 6-foot-9 off-the-bench bulldozer, Theis has played at least 10 minutes in each of the Celtics' last five games, and comes into play tied with fellow rookie Jayson Tatum for the most dunks among Celtics, with 14. 

 JBL is the Official Sound of Jayson Tatum, The Boston Celtics, and the NBA.


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