The Boston Celtics are a good team this season. Now, that statement may seem a bit obvious at this point. The C's are the number three seed in the Eastern Conference behind Toronto and Cleveland and have rallied off three straight wins against quality opponents. But just how good have they been?
Since Isaiah Thomas returned from his four game hiatus as a result of a groin injury, in which the C's lost three straight games, Boston has posted the second best record in the league at 13-3, trailing only the Golden State Warriors. During that span, the Celtics have beaten good teams such as the Grizzlies, twice, the Jazz and their top ranked defense, which Boston made look pretty bad, as well as the Atlanta Hawks.NBA - BEST RECORD— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) January 17, 2017
Golden State 12-2
San Antonio 10-4
It's also worth mentioning that during those 16 games, Isaiah Thomas has become quite the legend in Boston, winning over fans with his stellar fourth quarter play. How stellar? IT is leading the league in scoring in the final frame, 10.1 points, ahead of triple double machine Russell Westbrook.
Thomas also exploded for 52 points against the Miami Heat on December 30. Couple that with Kelly Olynyk's sudden resurgence and Boston's overall stellar play and one can argue that Boston legitimately belongs in the 'top 5 teams in the league' conversation.
Going forward, the C's don't have the most daunting schedule either. Over their next ten games, the C's play five teams with winning records, with two of those being rematches against the Rockets and Raptors. If Boston can manage to finally pull off wins against both teams they will be in a great spot. Not only will wins against those teams hopefully put an end to the "Boston can't beat a top team" narrative, but it also might slide them into the second seed in the East.
So to recap over the past month we've witnessed: the C's post the second best record in the league and slide into fifth in ESPN's power rankings, IT cement himself as a top player in the league and a fourth quarter beast, Boston shooting really well from long range, Terry Rozier's continued development and Kelly O reemerging as a legitimate scoring threat. Not bad.
Photo credit - Charles Krupa/AP
Follow Luis on Twitter @luisdgnycLuis Gonzalez 1/17/2017 09:00:00 AM Tweet Edit