Celtics rise to No. 9 in ESPN's NBA power rankings

Rajon Rondo was the last C's player to wear No. 9
Fresh of a big victory in Oklahoma City in which Marcus Smart played arguably the best game of his career and out-dueled Russell Westbrook, the 5-4 Celtics are now the No. 9 team in Marc Stein's NBA power rankings on ESPN.com.

With a 3-1 week that also included wins over the Bucks and Hawks, the C's rose five spots from No. 14 last week.  Boston is the fifth-ranked team in the East, behind Cleveland (3), Miami (4), Atlanta (5) and Chicago (7), but ahead of Atlantic Division leader Toronto (10).

Stein credits the Celtics defense, which is No. 4 in the NBA according to John Hollinger's efficiency ratings.

ESPN's basketball power index rates Boston eighth overall in the league with a 94.1 percent chance to make the playoffs, better than Chicago, Indiana, Houston and Memphis.

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