The former Celtics center was the only member of the Pacers who did not play due to a coach’s decision in their 51-point loss in Boston on Wednesday. BOBBY KRIVITSKY 5 HOURS AGO
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At 4-0, the Boston Celtics are in a tie with the Dallas Mavericks for the best record in the NBA. They also boast the league’s highest net rating (20.1), they’re generating the most points per 100 possessions (124.8) and rank in the top five in defensive rating (104.7), per NBA.com.
Their most recent win, a 155-104 demolishing of the Indiana Pacers, saw the C’s register the second-most points in franchise history. It’s also their third-largest margin of victory since 2000.
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) goes through the Indiana Pacers defense to dunk during the first quarter at TD Garden.
Despite the lopsided nature of Wednesday’s blowout at TD Garden, one player on Indiana’s roster did not play due to a coach’s decision. That individual is Daniel Theis.
Given how the game unfolded, it was odd seeing the former Celtics center glued to the bench throughout the contest, especially in the fourth quarter. It’s a safe bet he would’ve received an ovation from the crowd had Rick Carlisle called his number.
After the loss, the Salzgitter, Germany, native, who helped lead his country’s men’s national basketball team to its first-ever FIBA World Cup championship, expressed to MassLive’s Brian Robb, “Obviously, after a great summer, I’m not happy with the situation I’m in right now.”
He added, “I want to play and take all the good stuff from the summer into the season, but it’s a long season. We are going to see what’s going on and what’s happening.”
Indiana Pacers center Daniel Theis (27) dunks against the Utah Jazz at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Theis hasn’t received playing time in any of the Pacers’ first four matchups. After coming over with, among others, Aaron Nesmith, who recently signed a three-year, $33 million extension with his new franchise, a knee injury that required surgery, coupled with Indiana embracing a rebuild, the six-year veteran only appeared in seven games for them last season.
The 31-year-old center spent his first 3.5 NBA campaigns in Boston, then returned at the 2022 trade deadline ahead of the Celtics’ run to the Finals, where they came within two wins of raising Banner 18 to the TD Garden rafters.
While trading for Theis, who’s making $9.1 million this season and whose contract carries a $9.5 million team option over the summer, is highly unlikely, if he gets bought out, perhaps it leads to another reunion with the organization that brought him to the NBA.
Regarding that possibility, he conveyed, “I’ve learned to say never say never. Obviously, I’m open (to it,” adding, “I want to play and want to be part of the team, which is the most important thing.”
The six-foot-eight center also weighed in on his former team’s hot start. “They have a great team,” stated Theis. “The way they play offense, shooting the ball, shooting the three. Defensively, adding Jrue Holiday, (they’re a) tough team to beat all season long. Hopefully, everyone stays healthy.”