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Boston Celtics Keep On Winning

Posted on December 23, 2010 by Carl Desberg

The team's average margin of victory has been 12.5 over the streak, but Pierces jumper late gave the Celtics a closer win.

On November 22nd, the Boston Celtics started their winning streak with a lopsided win over the Atlanta Hawks. Over a month later, the C’s still have not lost.

Coach Doc Rivers has an interesting take on this stretch in an interview with WEEI radio this morning: “I know it sounds crazy but it’s a strange streak in many ways. As a staff I can tell you we’re not looking at it at all. We’re so focused on the next game and who is going to play and how we’re going to get a decent practice. In some ways every streak is a joy, but I don’t know if we’ve enjoyed this one as much because of all the other things.”

Doc’s right in many ways. During this streak, the Celtics have battled injuries just as much as the opponent. At times, the team has only had eight healthy bodies to practice, which makes it hard for the squad to refine their game. Shaq O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal, Rajon Rondo, Delonte West, and others have missed significant chunks over the past month which has really tested the depth of this team.

Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ainge spent much of the offseason compiling a strong bench in an effort to lengthen the playing rotation to ensure less playing time for his starters. The idea was good, but the result has not gone quite as planned. Due to numerous injuries, the Celtics’ Big Three have been carrying the load.

Playing their best basketball in years, the Big Three has led this 14 game charge. Each of the savvy veterans is playing like they’re in their prime and have truly adjusted to whoever is on the court with them better than ever. Doc Rivers preaches togetherness and it has never been more apparent than this month stretch.

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KG has also provided late game heroics.

The average margin of victory over this run has been 12.5 points, but this Celtics team has won every which way. Whether it was a 31-point victory over the Bobcats, or a last second alley-hoop to KG in Philadelphia to take the lead, the veteran club has found every which way to win. Last game against the 76ers (their second time facing them during the streak), the Celtics played perhaps their worst basketball of the streak. Shooting less than 39% from the floor, the Celtics hung around and put hopeful Sixer squad away in the second half. The team has also played real close games like the one at New York last week that culminated with a last second game winning jumper from the captain Paul Pierce.

This is the organization’s fifth longest winning streak in its existence with the longest, a 19-game streak, coming two seasons ago. However, this particular streak isn’t about setting records at this juncture. This streak is unique in that it has been about continuous improvement.

Progression and adaptation to what resources are readily available to Doc and the Big Three have been the theme. As the team begins to get healthier and adapt to getting more players involved the team will hit some obvious bumps and growing pains. While the steak is nice and the wins are necessary, the team will continue to keep their eyes on the real prize, a date in the NBA Finals for some revenge. The streak will end tomorrow or in another 30 days, but the passion by many on this team to make up for last season’s let down is the true goal. Streaks like this help the team mature along the way.

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