There is a such thing as an overrated player (it’s a term we hear thrown around a lot, honestly), and then there are underrated players.
In the Boston sports scene, Bill Mueller and Mark Bellhorn are prime examples of underrated players. They played excellent baseball for the 2004 Red Sox, but they weren’t Hall of Fame talents like Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Curt Schilling or Manny Ramirez. Well, we have a guy like that this year in Boston sports--on the Boston Celtics. His name is Daniel Theis.
What Theis is doing for the Celtics is honestly not all that common. He is a 25-year-old rookie from Germany they kind of just got lucky on and signed because he had won a few awards for his defense overseas. It was worth a shot to add some depth to the organization. That shot hit the bullseye.
According to ESPN, his 4.2 rebounds per game and .523 field goal percentage rank ninth and sixth among rookies in the league this season. They also did this weird in-depth stat where his defensive rebound percentage (.233), offensive rebound percentage (.139) and overall rebound percentage (.169) were second in the league for guys who had played at least 13 minutes per game.
The Celtics must recognize that he’s pretty darn good too. I say this because his playing time has increased; Theis has averaged 17.5 minutes per game over the last 10 games. Against the Denver Nuggets on Monday, he chipped in 11 points in 21 minutes. Not bad, rook.
Let’s be honest, the 6-foot-9 power forward isn’t the next Larry Bird or anything like that but hey, he’s a big man who comes off the bench for a team that has enjoyed plenty of success this season. That is worth highlighting. He should be a pretty good contributor for the Celtics for the next few seasons, assuming they keep him around as one of their bench guys.