By: Evan Singleton
Daniel Theis, the 25-year-old rookie is certainly providing valuable minutes off the bench for the Boston Celtics. It is clear that he has played pro ball in the past. You'd never guess this guy is a rookie when watching him play.
In just under 15 minutes of play (on average), Theis is averaging 6 points and 5 rebounds a game. Now, you may not think that is much. However, it is is what he is doing off of the stat sheet that is propelling this team.
"He just has a good motor to him," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "He's always in good position. Never quits on plays. He's got good balance as we can see, and he's awfully long so he keeps his hands … even when he doesn't get it, he tips it, kind of keeps it alive."
Theis is really the definition of a hustle player. He is everywhere, he never gives up, he pushes it to the limit. This is the type of player that the Celtics need in that second unit.
With a big man like Al Horford, you would expect a severe drop-off when he checks out of the game, but Theis has made that drop quite small. No, he isn't scoring 15+ points a game, but he is playing defense and doing his job.
Theis leads the team in rebounding percentage and offensive rebounding percentage. He showcased the talent Wednesday night against the Sacramento Kings. In 18 minutes of play, Theis dropped 10 points and 10 rebounds on the box score. That being his first NBA double-double of his career.
Let me also state how great his contract is. He is on a two-year minimum contract. Now that is helpful. he is playing far above the level of a typical minimum exception player.
This should not come as a huge surprise to both Celtics and NBA fans. Theis has been playing professional ball since he was about 17 years old. Many rookies take a season or more to adjust to the game and the lifestyle, but Theis has seemed to adjust rather quickly.
He is no superstar, but he is getting it done.
Daniel Theis is certainly doing the job that is asked of him, and he's doing it well.