Lowe’s 10 things: Giant Pelicans, smooth Tatum moves and Harden’s lobs

It’s Friday, and time for a pre-holiday serving of 10 Things.

1. The super-switchable Celtics

I try to avoid featuring the same team here in consecutive weeks, but when you win 14 straight and interrupt the Warriors’ demolition of the league, rules go out the window.

I’m not sure even Boston’s coaches and front-office folks realized how huge this team is on the wing until they saw everyone play together in preseason. Jaylen Brown is a 6-foot-7 starting 2-guard with a 7-foot wingspan. That is obscene. When the Celtics have any three of Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris, and Marcus Smart on the floor (and, hell, throw in Semi Ojeleye) with Al Horford at center, they can switch seamlessly across four positions.

Sometimes they switch across all five — or Kyrie Irving forces them to by dying on a pick. But everyone downloads second-to-second changes so quickly, they often yank Irving out of a mismatch in the post with an instant re-switch. It is really hard to do that without exposing a passing lane or an open shot, but Boston plays with such hyper-alertness, they pull it off before opponents can take advantage.

Horford has been staying in front of little guys on switches for years, and he’s jaunting around with a new bounce in his step. Brown is a monster on defense already. Tatum isn’t as lithe as Brown or as tenacious as Smart, but he’s trying, and he reads the game at a high level.

Skeptics imagined rookie-year Tatum as a defensive liability who would indulge in too many Carmelo Anthony-style midrangers. Nope. Tatum has been fine on defense, and about 70 percent of his shots have come either at the rim or from 3-point range. He is one of those guys who moves really fast along the horizontal plane. He’s a glider. He finishes smoothly in traffic with either hand, and navigates with the confidence of a five-year veteran.

Meanwhile, Markelle Fultz is shooting left-handed, Jimmy Butler isn’t shooting much at all, Jae Crowder looks like he aged five years over the summer, and Irving is playing unselfishly (by his standards). Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens might be warlocks.

One minor concern: Stevens is messing around with lineups that include neither Irving nor Horford. By the numbers, they’ve worked, mostly because of unsustainable defense; Boston’s offense has scored fewer than a point per possession in those minutes, per NBA.com. The equation changes once Gordon Hayward returns next season, but those groups should have a quick hook against good teams when it matters.

2. James Harden, lob artiste

Everyone appreciates Harden’s one-step-ahead passing now, but we tend to think mostly of those cross-court lasers to open corner shooters; only LeBron assisted on more corner 3s last season, per data from ESPN Stats & Information.

But Harden is one of the league’s best and most artful lob passers. He is daring, and he uses his dribble to engineer lobs that even the best point guards can’t generate. This is very much a James Harden lob:

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