The Celtics are a middle-of-the-pack Eastern Conference playoff seed with little expectation to go far in the postseason this year. Even though Boston's title hopes are basically non-existent, don't be surprised if this club makes things interesting when the NBA's second season begins in mid-April. As we saw from the C's dramatic double-OT loss to the Warriors last month, the men in green can hang with anybody. They can also do so under adverse circumstances.
Most NBA teams struggle in road games, back-to-back games, and in particular the combination of both. After Monday's trouncing of the Wizards in D.C. (more on that in a bit), the Celtics are now 20-11 in their last 31 road games, dating back to March 21, 2015. In that time, it's the second-best road record in the entire league (Golden State is No. 1 at 25-6, the Spurs are No. 3 at 16-10).
On the second night of back-to-backs, Boston is 15-3 over it's past 18 overall, and 12-2 over it's last 14 on the road. That's just not normal.
The Celtics' recent pair of road victories came on consecutive nights in Philadelphia and Washington, beginning with a flight to Philly on the morning of the game. The bizarre travel situation clearly had no impact on the C's, as they posted two of their three biggest wins away from home since Brad Stevens took over as coach in 2013:
Not a bad weekend... pic.twitter.com/teghmM07lv— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) January 26, 2016
The Wizards in particular have been no match for Boston this season. The Celtics swept all four games from Washington by an average of 20 points:
So the final tally from the 4-game series is: Celtics 464, Wizards 384. Oof.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) January 26, 2016
Here's what the Elias Sports Bureau had to say about the C's domination of the Wiz this year:
It's the third time that Boston has defeated Washington by at least 20 points this season, having previously done so in Boston on November 6 and November 27. The Celtics are the only team with three wins of this type against a particular opponent in the 2015-16 campaign. And the last time Boston did this against one team in a single season was in the 1986-87 season, with three such wins over the Pacers (by 31, 30, and 23-point margins).
Alright, so the Wizards (20-22) aren't very good right now, and neither are the Sixers (6-39). Boston should handle those squads. But, on the opposite side of the coin, nobody is "handling" the Celtics this year, ever:
FEWEST @NBA DOUBLE-DIGIT LOSSES (Since Dec. 1) BOSTON – 1 SAN ANTONIO – 1 OKLAHOMA CITY – 2 GOLDEN STATE – 3— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) January 26, 2016
As the title says, Boston can hang with any team, any time, anywhere, which should lead to some exciting basketball this spring.
H/T to @SeanGrandePBP for so many of these great stats.
Follow Mark Vandeusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan Mark Van Deusen 1/26/2016 02:00:00 PM Tweet Edit