Daniel Theis Ready To Reintroduce Himself To Celtics
BOSTON (CBS) -- Daniel Theis will be back in green Tuesday night, as the big man is set to re-debut with the Celtics when the team takes on the 76ers in Philadelphia.
Theis, acquired from the Houston Rockets at the trade deadline last Thursday, will have his minutes monitored by the Celtics as he reintroduces himself with the team. He watched Boston's last two games -- both wins -- as he waited for all the wrinkles of last week's trade to get ironed out.
Waiting and watching has been part of Theis' usual routine so far this season, but he's eager to change that now that he's back in Boston. After he was traded by Boston to Chicago at last year's deadline, Theis landed in Houston over the offseason by way of a four-year, $36-million sign-and-trade between the Bulls and Rockets. But Houston's season quickly went in the tank, and the Rockets have been focusing more on their young players than the guy they just gave a long-term deal to. Theis didn't play in his last 13 games with the Rockets, and hasn't seen the floor for game action since Jan. 14.
He put up modest numbers in his 26 games (including 21 starts) with Houston, averaging 8.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, but quickly figured out that he and the Rockets were not a great match. Theis continued to provide some veteran leadership for the Rockets and helped the youngsters find their way, much like Al Horford and Aron Baynes did with him during his early NBA days in Boston, but he wasn't too happy with his situation.
Deep down, he really wanted to return to Boston. When the deal came to fruition in the final minutes ahead of Thursday's trade deadline, Theis felt a rush of emotions.
"I wouldn't say shocked. I was relieved, happy," he explained to reporters following Boston's morning shootaround in Philadelphia. "Houston didn't work out how I planned it. For me, my mind was that if I got traded, I wanted to be back here."
Theis got his wish, and now he's ready to rejoin a Celtics team that looks a lot like the one he left roughly a year ago. Brad Stevens may be in the front office with Ime Udoka on the bench, but Theis is eager to get back to work with his frontcourt mates: Horford, Robert Williams III and Grant Williams.
"It feels like I never left," Theis joked Tuesday. "It feels like it's all the same guys I played with, with the addition of some of the younger guys. We knew when Grant and Rob came in, we knew they were talented. You just hope they reach their potential. They're playing great basketball. It looks fun."
Theis said he felt no ill-will towards the C's following last year's trade, understanding that it was all part of the business side of the NBA. It's all in the past, and the big man is ready to start bashing bodies and sealing off some lanes for his Celtics teammates.
He's getting thrown right into the fire for his reunion, too. Theis and the other big bodies on the Celtics roster get to try to slow down Joel Embiid and the 76ers on Tuesday night, as Boston goes for its ninth straight win.
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