The NBA is a star-powered league these days, but the Boston Celtics’ bench has been just as pivotal to the team’s hot start during the 2022-23 season. While Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have played phenomenally for the C’s, the guys coming off the pine are also putting up ridiculous numbers that have boosted Boston to the top of the league standings.

Bench scoring was once a problem for the Celtics, as just last season their non-starters had the 26th overall scoring output with 30.2 points per game. With a dynamic offensive duo in Tatum and Brown, the C’s overcame those bench struggles and reached the NBA Finals. However, when either of Boston’s stars faltered, the team would lapse and often fail to hold leads.

This year, it’s a different story. Rather than blowing double-digit leads, the bench is winning games for the Celtics in impressive fashion.

Celtics surprise: Bench scoring and depth

In the 2022-23 season, the Celtics are up 14 spots in overall bench scoring rankings, as they have the 12th-most bench points per game in the NBA. But where this offensive leap is truly profound is in team percentages. Prior to their blowout win versus Charlotte, the Boston bench ranked first in 3-point percentage, second in field goal percentage, and first in free throw percentage:

Leading the charge for the bench mob is guard Malcolm Brogdon, who has been an excellent sixth man for Boston on both sides of the ball. In just 22 minutes he’s averaging 14 points on 48.8% shooting. Brogdon has been a rejuvenating force this season, and his ability to take over a game when Brown and Tatum are out is paramount to the C’s long-term success.

As Boston sits at 17-4 atop the NBA standings, the former Pacer tried to tell the rest of the squad not to take their winning ways for granted:

Brogdon being the main weapon off the Celtics’ bench is not shocking, however Sam Hauser’s contribution has been a very pleasant surprise. The former G League player is shooting an amazing 48.9% from beyond the arc, which is the third-best mark in the entire NBA. With his 7.9 points per game and shotmaking abilities, Hauser boasts the fourth-best plus-minus rating in the league as well:

For someone who went undrafted and was battling for a roster spot at one point, Hauser’s leap this season has been superb. And right behind him on the list of the NBA’s top 3-point marksmen are fellow bench teammates, Derrick White and Grant Williams:

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In case the bench’s potency isn’t clear enough, in back-to-back home games against Washington and Charlotte, the Celtics’ bench scored a whopping 97 points.

With a former weakness now acting as an advantage, Boston is off to a historic start. If the Green Team can rely on their bench to support Tatum and Brown, there aren’t many teams that can keep pace. Plus, when Robert Williams III returns in a few months, Boston’s defense will be stronger, making the C’s a scary sight for any opponent.

Although it will be no simple task for the Celtics to maintain these crazy bench statistics, they don’t have to in order to stay among the NBA’s elite. If Brogdon and company can play close to the level they’re performing at now, they’ll be able to go toe-to-toe with any team in the league this season.