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Something Mark pointed to in this post right here is how similar the Celtics record was to last year's. Really, it is strange how similar the two teams are, yet also how alarmingly different.

A lot of Celtics fans are kind of hanging their hat on the flip switching the Celtics did at the end of the season last year. It's not a bad argument. They've done it before, they can do it again. Yet it is indeed, unfortunately, a flawed one.

So at this point last year (through 31 games) the Celtics were at 15-16 and had lost their fourth straight game. They would go on to lose another one to make that streak five and then go on a tear where they only lost 10 more games and ended up in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

This year, as you know, the Celtics are basically at the same point record wise. They are worse by just one loss (14-17) and are also in the midst of a four game losing streak.

Last year's Celtics bounced back from their five game losing streak by winning five straight. Albeit against lowly competition (Cleveland, Milwaukee, New Jersey, New York, Houston). It was their second five game winning streak of the season thus far, and their fourth winning streak over four games.

This year's Celtics have not had such a streak yet. Also here is the Celtics next five games - Pacers(19-13), @Hawks(20-10), @Knicks(21-10), Suns(12-21), Rockets(18-14).

Here's another difference between last year and this year. And a major one. The Celtics defense was also right where it usually is.

Boston.com

Despite their ups and downs, last year's Celtics didn't waver on defense. In fact, they ranked first overall in defensive rating and actually allowed fewer points per game (89.3) than they did during their championship run.

As you can see in the comparisons below there's another big difference in that "Opp" column. The one that shows how many points the other team scored.

Last year


This year


At this point last year, the Celtics had given up over 100 points only twice, and it was the first two games of the season. This year's Celtics have done it 14 times. That's almost half of the time. They're also 13th in defensive rating.

Still, that doesn't mean they can't pull a similar turnaround, it just looks less likely. One thing this year's Celtics are struggling with over last year's is a ton of new pieces. Pieces that obviously don't grasp the defense yet. Also, one of the Celtics best defensive players has been missing until last night, so that should help matters.

The Celtics could certainly turn things around but right now they aren't playing with really any championship qualities. At least last year they were.

Mike Saver 1/03/2013 01:16:00 PM Edit
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