NBA, play-offs: How Daniel Theis became a regular in Boston


Shaquille O’Neal was very enthusiastic about this Celtics professional with the strong defense and the many tattoos on his arms, but the ex-superstar did not know the name of Daniel Theis. Theis is a title candidate with Boston – and a regular.

Undisputed in the initial formation of the Boston Celtics: Daniel Theis.

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Daniel Theis is making a name for himself in the NBA. Ex-superstar and TV expert Shaquille O’Neal did not know the German international recently and Theis has not had a long conversation with his compatriot Dirk Nowitzki. But as a player with the best defensive rating of all NBA professionals in the play-offs and as a regular on a team in the finals of the Eastern Conference, attention for the center inevitably grows. “We want to win everything. That is still our goal,” said the 28-year-old in an interview with the German press agency.

“I play for myself and my team and not for other people. But maybe he will notice at some point if we keep playing like this. Hopefully he will remember after the season and think: If I had known the name,” said Theis of the The moment when O’Neal enthusiastically praised him in his role as TV expert for TNT after game five against defending champion Toronto Raptors, but didn’t know him either.

In his third NBA season since leaving Brose Bamberg and previous stations in Ulm and Braunschweig, Theis is now an elementary part of the Celtics. For every hundred minutes of playing time with him on the field, the team from Boston conceded an average of 100.1 points in the play-offs – no other professional is better, his teammates Jaylen Brown (100.8) and third follow in second and third place Jayson Tatum (100.9) ahead of Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James in fourth place (101.3).

Theis’ development is remarkable and obviously unexpected in this form for the Celtics. Originally signed as a substitute, he signed a new two-year contract a year ago after the first season and receives an annual salary of five million dollars for this and the coming season – compared to other regulars and measured by his value for the team, Theis is an absolute bargain in the League.

“I am extremely happy and am pleased that the coaching staff, but also everyone with whom I am on the field, appreciate my work on the field. There is appreciation for me,” he said. Theis not only plays mostly from the start, coach Brad Stevens also prefers the native of Lower Saxony to be on the field in the crucial minutes of close games and therefore spares him in between when he has collected too many fouls.

Daniel Theis

Dominant am Korb: Daniel Theis.
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On the night of Wednesday (0.30 a.m.) it is now game one against the Miami Heat. The winner of the conference finals in the east meets the best team in the west and plays for the championship. Theis is the first German since Dirk Nowitzki to have realistic chances of winning the NBA title when he won the Mavericks in 2011.

Theis only knows the best German basketball player in history as an opponent. “We never met in the national team and even when we played against Dallas they said hello but unfortunately never really got to know each other,” he said. “I know, maybe I’ll be the next German to win the championship in the NBA, maybe there will be a connection then.” The former Lakers star O’Neal should also be able to do something with the name Daniel Theis at the latest.

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