Boston Celtics: power rankings
Curator Marc Stein offers only praise in his brief note on the C's: "With all the focus on Rondo's diming, Boston's suffocating team D, Ray Allen's acceptance of a bench role and the unexpected contributions from A-Bradley and Stiemsma, not enough has been said about KG, who quietly has served up six of his seven 20-and-10 games this season just since the All-Star break." The Celtics were leapfrogged by the Los Angeles hoopsters (both the Clippers and Lakers).
The Boston Celtics bumped up one spot to No. 6 in this week's ESPN.com NBA Power Rankings. The only Eastern Conference foes in front of them are Miami (3) and Chicago (4). Writes curator Marc Stein: "Seems like forever ago now that the Celts lost five straight to limp into the All-Star break. Ray Allen is figuring out his new bench gig, Rajon Rondo has topped 10 assists in 17 consecutive games and Boston is 17-7 since the break, good for a three-game Atlantic lead (and the No. 4 seed that goes with it) with 10 to go."
Don't look now but the Boston Celtics have vaulted a whopping seven spots this week to land at No.7 on the ESPN.com NBA Power Rankings. Suddenly, Boston is the third-ranked team in the Eastern Conference, trailing only Chicago (3) and Miami (4). Writes curator Marc Stein: "Too good since the break -- and too dominant in the first of three remaining meetings with Miami -- to keep the Celts out of the top 10 any longer. Don't care how hard their schedule looks from here. Is there a team outside of the East's top two that you believe in more at playoff time than Doc's old-timers and Rondo?"
The Celtics continue their roller coaster ride through the ESPN.com NBA power rankings, climbing four spots this week to No. 14. Writes curator Marc Stein: "The Celts survived their eight-game trip with monster wins in Atlanta and Milwaukee to go 4-4 and bump their record since the All-Star break to 11-5. Rest assured that Philly, despite beating Boston twice at home, is fretting about holding off its old friends from Beantown for the division title with just six home games left."
Despite a 2-2 week that featured losses to the 76ers and Lakers, the Celtics shuffled up two spots to No. 13 in this week's ESPN.com NBA Power Rankings. The Celtics are the sixth-ranked team in the Eastern Conference, leapfrogging the Hawks this week. Writes curator Marc Stein: "Good to see KG, Pierce, Ray and Rondo grit through all the trade talk to win six of eight. When the Celts limped into the All-Star break at 15-17, someone in the office pointed out that there hasn't been a team to finish the regular season under .500 with three future Hall of Famers since the 1992-93 Pistons."
On the heels of a four-win week, the Boston Celtics climbed three spots to No. 15 in this week's ESPN.com NBA Power Rankings. Boston will have a chance to shimmy even further with its next two opponents the two teams in front of them (Houston at 14, Philadelphia at 13). Writes curator Marc Stein: "There are two ways to look at that ridiculous Rondo stat line that I was lucky enough to witness in person: (1) Trading someone with that sort of stat-stuffing ability is pure lunacy; (2) The fact that Boston is even pondering the prospect of trading Rondo tells you what a, um, challenge managing him must be."
After a couple weeks on the rise in the ESPN.com NBA Power Rankings, climbing back to the Top 10 last week, the Boston Celtics came crashing down again this week on the heels of losing five of their last six games overall.
Boston plummets eight spots to No. 18, falling into the bottom half of the league with its recent struggles. Writes curator Marc Stein: "Nobody got sucked into the Beware Boston talk more than me because of the Celts' still-reliable D, but now I can only echo this late-night tweet from radio play-by-play man Sean Grande after the second loss to Detroit in the space of five days: "It's hard to look on the bright side ... when you can't see one."
The Celtics have muscled their way back into the top 10 in the latest ESPN.com NBA Power Rankings, hopping up one spot this week (Sunday's win over the Bulls preventing a possible dip after consecutive losses to the Lakers and Raptors). Writes curator Marc Stein, "Here's why no one likes playing 'em no matter how old they are: Despite its rebounding issues, Boston has held its past 25 opponents under 100 -- good for the seventh-longest streak in the shot-clock era -- and came within a point Sunday against Chicago of keeping a record 12 in a row to 90 points or fewer." The Celtics sit fifth among Eastern Conference teams, ranked behind Miami (1), Chicago (3), Philadelphia (6), and Indiana (7).
Elsewhere, the Celtics are at No. 13 in John Hollinger's computerized power rankings. Their playoff odds are at 80.9 percent, an encouraging sign despite currently sitting with the seventh seed in the East.
The Celtics continue to improve by leaps and bounds in the ESPN.com NBA Power Rankings. This week Boston vaults four more spots to land at No. 11 (there was a time recently they were in the back third of the league). The Celtics are now fifth in the East (though it's slightly daunting to see the Heat, Bulls, Pacers, and 76ers in the top four spots of a conference that's supposedly weak -- or at least top heavy).
Writes curator Marc Stein, "The Celts are on a 7-1 surge, having held the opposition to 81 points per game in that run and would have swept all eight had they finished off the Cavs at home. Paul Pierce, meanwhile, is about to pass Larry Legend as the second-leading scorer in team history. So why the glum faces, Bostonians?"
Super Bowl jabs aside, it has to be encouraging for Celtics fans to see their team climbing so fast after all the suggestions to blow it up last month.
Not even a late-week stumble against the Cavs could stop the Celtics from vaulting four spots to No. 16 in this week's ESPN.com NBA power rankings. From curator Marc Stein: "Last Monday, Doc Rivers' Celts were three games under .500 ... with half of their six wins coming against Washington. Since then, Doc has reminded everyone why he's a $7 million-a-year coach, stirring his injury-ravaged Celts to a season-salvaging week, even if the finish against Kyrie's Cavs didn't quite work out."
The Celtics have also climbed to No. 16 in John Hollinger's computerized power rankings and their odds of making the playoffs have jumped to 73.8 after last week's success.
ESPN.com's NBA power rankings curator Marc Stein accentuates the positive, "I think we can all agree whose fault this isn't so far. Ray Allen might have come back down to Earth in the Celts' past couple of games, but you marvel at the way he's still setting the standard when it comes to shooting from deep -- 57.7 percent -- at 36."
Hop HERE to read the full rankings. And, remember, it could be worse. The C's are No. 22 in John Hollinger's computerized rankings:
The Celtics rank seventh in the East behind Miami (1), Chicago (2), Atlanta (6), Philadelphia (7), Indiana (11), and Orlando (12). Their next opponent, the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks, who have also stumbled out of the gates, sit one spot ahead of Boston at No. 13.
On the Celtics, curator Marc Stein writes: "The Celts will dive into a testing stretch -- Dallas, Chicago and OKC at home with a quick trip to Indy thrown in -- with plenty of rest, given that they haven't played since Friday. If only Friday's outing wasn't a momentum-sapping loss at home to the Pacers."
Hop HERE to read the full rankings.
Yes, the Celtics are in unfamiliar territory among the bottom half of the league's 30 teams. In fact, their eighth best in the Eastern Conference behind Miami (1), Chicago (2), Orlando (5), Philadelphia (9), Indiana (12), New York (13), and Atlanta (14). Ouchtown, population you, bro.
Boston's only wins have come against the Pistons (26) and Wizards (30). Needless to say, that didn't buy them much goodwill from curator Marc Stein. He writes: "It felt like forever watching them labor through those first three games on the road without the ailing Paul Pierce (heel), but it was only last season that the Celts were the last team in the league to lose a game. Remember that 8-0 start?"
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Writes curator Marc Stein: "Maybe it's just me, but I would have expected these Celts to try to rally around Perkins' exile by vowing to spite Ainge for doing the deal. Never expected a 9-10 funk with Rondo failing to reach 10 assists 13 times."
The Celtics were stalwarts among the top 3 for much of the season, rising from No. 2 in the preseason poll to No. 1 after an 8-2 start. They didn't dip lower than No. 4 through the first 18 weeks of the season. Ironically, it was right after the Kendrick Perkins trade that they fell to No. 5 and haven't risen above that spot since.
Need some encouraging news? Check out the graph below that charts their trend through each of the last nine seasons. You'll notice Boston had plummeted to No. 12 by regular season's end last year. Do they have another charge in them?
Writes curator Marc Stein: "One more time in case you haven't heard it: Friday's collapse against Charlotte marked the first time in Celts history that they fell to a team 10 or more games under .500 after leading by 10 or more to start the fourth." Yikes.
Elsewhere: C's at No. 8 in Hollinger's rankings | Boston dips to No. 7 in NBA.com poll
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