Even before Monday night's triumph over Eastern Conference rival Orlando, the Celtics were shimmying up in the latest power rankings.
Boston climbed to No. 2 this week in ESPN.com's NBA power rankings, sitting behind a Spurs team it beat earlier this month. Writes curator Marc Stein: "There's plenty of time to dig into KG's return. Shaq's first 20-point, five-block night since '04-05 -- on the same night T-Mac scored 22 and Chicago's Kurt Thomas snagged 18 boards -- had to be recorded here for posterity."
In John Hollinger's computerized daily rankings, the Celtics actually slipped back to No. 5, even after Monday's win over the third-ranked Magic. Winners of three straight, Boston is still more than a full point behind the fourth-ranked Lakers in the computerized system.
Over at NBA.com, the Celtics also shimmied up to No. 2 behind only the Spurs in this week's rankings. Writes curator John Schuhmann, "After a couple of false alarms, Kevin Garnett finally returns for Monday's game against the Magic. That pushes Glen Davis back to the bench, where he has shot (48 percent) and rebounded (7.7 rebounds per 40 minutes) better than he has as a starter (41 percent, 4.9 rebounds per 40)."