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Daniel Theis' strong FIBA play could land him the Celtics starting gig at center

Daniel Theis continued to impress in World Cup competition with Germany's 89-70 victory over Tunisia. Theis collected 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks in the win.

What stands out in the highlights below are Daniel's four blocks. He rejects shots near the rim and close to the perimeter. He is moving fluidly, and any trace of his meniscus issue is completely gone



It also looks like the 6'8" German has added a floater to his offensive arsenal. He gets off two successful beauties over the opposition. His passing seems solid, and the eight boards speak for themselves. Put all of this together with his post game and outside shooting, and we are looking at serious versatility here.

In a previous article, I stressed the fact that the 5-spot was a major concern for the Boston Celtics, and with continued improvement over the course of the season, Theis could land the starting gig at center.

The other three possibilities to cover the 5-spot are Robert Williams, Vincent Poirier and Enes Kanter. None of them have Daniel's ability to do so much. We have no idea what Poirier is capable of at the NBA level. Kanter can be a double-double machine, but he can't yet shoot reliably from any distance, and despite his height, he is not a shot blocker. Williams is solid at rejecting shots - is one hell of an athlete - but he is still raw.

Kanter may begin the season in the starting lineup, but Theis has a good shot at ending up there because of his diverse skill set. He is displaying those skills during FIBA World Cup exhibition play. If he can come close to that level of play against better competition with Boston this season, he may surprise us all.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and @CausewayStreet

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