Insider: Examining the streaks
Based on recent history, the Celtics' win streak will end in Indiana on Dec. 28. I say this not out of any great affinity for the Pacers but because of Boston's amazing pre-Christmas track record in the Kevin Garnett era and its rather ordinary post-Christmas performance.
In the four seasons since Garnett arrived, the Celtics are a ridiculous 91-15 (.858) in games on or before Christmas but a more pedestrian 106-57 (.650) afterward. Last season was their most extreme yet, as they ran their record to 23-5 after an impressive Christmas Day win in Orlando before limping home at 27-27.
The current win streak has been impressive. The Celtics began it with a 23-point beating of the Hawks in Atlanta -- a team that swept them 4-0 in last season's series -- and added double-digit wins at home over Denver and Chicago and a 31-point smackdown of Charlotte. Although there were a couple of narrow skate-bys -- at home against Portland and on the road in Philadelphia -- the Celtics' scoring margin has been plus-14.6 points per game. However, it has come against a fairly easy slate -- their opposition has a record of 101-127 (.443) when not playing Boston.
Like Miami, Boston has a schedule that could allow its streak to extend for quite a while. The Celtics have a back-to-back against New York and Atlanta this week -- not easy, but survivable -- and will visit Orlando on Christmas. If they get through those games, and if we put their post-Christmas history aside, their next tough test would be Jan. 5 in Boston against the Spurs. By then they'd be carrying a 20-game winning streak.
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