At the end of the first-half of the NBA season the Boston Celtics where 15-17 sitting at 8th place in the Eastern Conference. Everyone was saying the Celtics are to old, worn out from this tough season schedule, and that GM Danny Ainge should trade away part of the big three. The Celtics did not just look tired, they looked hopeless, but Boston has silenced doubters now.
Man, how things have changed in the last 21 games. Boston has gone a stunning 15-6 against a strong schedule and minimal rest. Who do we give credit for this remarkable turn around? Doc Rivers has pulled off some nice feats as a coach, but these last 21 games have been something else. Kevin Garnett is starting to look like the animal that joined the team in 2007, and also Rajon Rondo has been completely uncontrollable.
Hats off to Doc Rivers for taking this Celtics team and getting them to play playoff basketball at just the right moment. The of the Celtics getting into the playoffs was even at risk. Now Doc has them sitting at top of the Atlantic Division currently sitting on fourth overall in the East. Doc has had to go through so much this season. Injuries have hit the C’s so hard this year. With everyone in the starting lineup missing games this year. The lockout shortened season cramped 66 games in the span of 4 months, causing teams like Boston to struggle. Doc has picked up and resurrected this lifeless team to what some people think to be as a legitimate playoff contender.
The Big Ticket has been huge these last games. Since Kevin Garnett has played center the Celtics and him have been surging. Kevin Garnett is playing as the intense monster he has been for the Celtics in recent years. He will be turning 36 in just over a month and is getting sustainably better during the most physically demanding season the league has had. He is putting up stats almost as good as the year he finished third in MVP voting which was 2008. Kevin is using the media calling him old and having no gas left as motivation, as if the most intense player in the league needs more things to get motivated about. I have no clue how Garnett is pulling of these numbers, but he is doing this at just the right time and hopefully can continue this in the playoffs.
Rajon Rondo was in numerous trade talks before the trade deadline even though Danny Ainge send he was not on the table. Since then Rondo has showed why he is the best PG in the league. Rondo has been getting over 10 assists in the last 14 games and 14 assists during the Miami Heat’s worst loss of the season. Rajon has been finding open teammates constantly and driving in at will. Despite all of the rumors that Danny Ainge was going to trade him, Rondo has shown why he should never be traded under any circumstance. Rondo has been a triple double threat every single time he has walked on to a basketball court and come playoff time that should be no different.
From Doc Rivers, KG, or Rajon Rondo, the Celtics have been on a tear overall, not to mention to emergence of Avery Bradley, Boston has been looking as strong as they have the last 21 games then we have seen in awhile. Come late April though how will Boston’s undersized and small lineup far against the Eastern Conference’s elite for a 7 game series? Time will tell, but I would not be surprised if we do not see the Celtics in the Conference Finals.
Morgan Grimmett is a NBA writer for The Sports Blitz and can be contacted at MGrimmett@SportsBlitz.com or on Twitter @Morgan_Grimmett