Every time you take away the Celtics' best player they keep getting better?
The Celtics were 9-14 (.391) when they traded away Rajon Rondo. They are 21-22 ever since (.488).
At the time of the Jeff Green deal, Boston was 12-21 (.343).
Without Rondo and Green, the C's are 18-15 (.545).
When Jared Sullinger was lost for the season, the C's were 20-31 (.392).
Without Rondo, Green and Sullinger, Boston is 10-5 (.667).
And finally, Isaiah Thomas has missed the past four games with a bruised back. The Celtics are a perfect 4-0 without him.
Do I actually believe Boston is better without Thomas? No. And honestly, I don't really think the loss of any of the other three is a cause of the Celtics' improved play either (they did temporarily get worse after Rondo's departure).
What I do feel these numbers imply is that this team has evolved to the point where the specific personnel on the floor are not that important. Brad Stevens has them playing together and believing in themselves.
One game Brandon Bass is the star. Another it's Tyler Zeller. Or maybe it's even Jonas Jerebko or Luigi Datome off the bench that makes the big difference. Somebody is always getting the job done.
Is this type of "next man up" success sustainable in the NBA? Probably not. But for the moment it's incredibly fun to watch, and Celtics fans should just sit back and enjoy the ride.