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Celtics have been aggressively taking it to the rim lately

Aside from Daniel Theis' brilliantly-timed, clutch block last night in Boston's 109-106 win over the Hawks, a major factor in the victory was the Celtics 62 points scored in the paint compared to Atlanta's 34. This is a new trend for the Guys in Green - and it is a good one.

The Celtics shot a poor 24% (6-of-25) beyond the arc, and they abandoned their live-or-die-by-the-3 stand - and took it into the paint. For the season, Boston ranks 13th in the NBA for percentage of points scored in the paint (43.5%). That has started to dramatically change.

Season: ranked 13th - 43.5%
Last 9 games - ranked 8th
Last 5 games - ranked 5th
Last 4 games - ranked 4th
Last 3 games - ranked 3rd (51.4%)


The Celtics also outrebounded the Hawks, 66-51. Fighting for rebounds and working hard to battle and maneuver into the painted area - and not settling for the trey - are great signs for the post-season. All members of Boston's Core-5 have become ball handlers that can drive and finish, or conversely take-and-make the 3-pointers. That is unique in the league, and a prime reason that it would be surprising for Danny Ainge to trade away any of the quintet. I love this trend!

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @CausewayStreet and Facebook

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