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IT4 getting love with the ESPN illustration

The Celtics were already on the rise coming in at #7 last week in Marc Stein's ESPN NBA power rankings.

What a way to follow up an Eastern Conference Player of the Week effort. Isaiah Thomas responded by rumbling for 52 points in a win over Miami, including a 29-point fourth quarter, to join Paul Pierce, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Sam Jones as the only 50-point scorers in the Celtics' storied history. Those 29 points in the fourth, incidentally, add up to the most prolific quarter Boston has ever seen from one player.

Stein adds that only two other teams have played as many road games as the Celtics this season (the underwhelming Blazers and the sucky Lakers). Add in the fact that the Celtics are finally healthy and the #5 Raptors better watch their backs.

Not sure about Stein ranking the Cavs over the Warriors. Yeah they won the Christmas Day game, but it was in Cleveland and the NBA even admitted they blew the Durant no call. Not to mention the Warriors are on pace to win 70 games again this season.

Our friends in Brooklyn come in #30.

JR 1/03/2017 08:33:00 AM Edit
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