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Don’t look now but Celtics have won four in a row, lead Atlantic Division

Nov 12, 2013, 11:20 AM EDT

Orlando Magic v Boston Celtics Getty Images

The Boston Celtics have won four in a row, improved to .500 (4-4), and right now that is good enough to lead the Atlantic Division (tied with Philadelphia).

After a 0-4 start I didn’t think I’d be writing that sentence. It certainly beats even Celtics’ fans expectations.

There are things we can pick apart with this streak, we certainly can question its sustainability, but the fact is the Celtics are hustling, getting some easy buckets in transition and winning games. Combine that with the slow starts for the Knicks and Nets, and you have an Atlantic Division upside-down cake.

During this mini-streak the Celtics’ defense has been almost flat with the start of the season, maybe marginally better but not significantly — it is the Boston offense that is fueling the run.

During the last four games the Celtics have scored 6.4 more points per 100 possessions than their season average, in part because they running a little more (three more possessions per game — they really got out and ran against Orlando Monday night). Along with that they also have cut their team turnovers down from 18 percent of their possessions for the season down to 13.9 percent. They are assisting a little more (they love the handoff from a big to a guard using him as a pick), shooting a little higher percentage, and hitting the boards a little harder. Their offensive numbers are up across the board.

Gerald Wallace, for all his talk, has been a hustle and glue guy during the streak. Avery Bradley is averaging 15.3 points a game on 52 percent shooting the last four games. Jordan Crawford is putting up 12.8 a night. And the combination of Brandon Bass (13 points), Jared Sullinger (12.3 points and 6 rebounds) and rookie Kelly Olynyk is averaging (11.3 points and 7.3 rebounds) has given Boston solid front line play.

Yes, it’s four early season games so it’s a tad early to plan playoff watching parties. Yes, three of the four wins came against teams looking hard at next year’s draft in Utah and Orlando (twice). But remember, they did beat the Heat in Miami as well.

And they are doing it all without Rajon Rondo.

Celtics fans should savor this. Things are going to get tougher as you look at the teams coming up on the schedule; stop and enjoy these things while you can. As coach Brad Stevens said after the game, things can turn on a dime in this league.

But today, Tuesday Nov. 12, the Boston Celtics are atop the Atlantic division.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Nov 12, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Many blessings for this article. Fair article. I have to give you credit where it’s due for finally writing something about the Celtics run here.

    The thing I would add is Crawford is becoming a great passer, or at least finally showing it. Other than that, you hit the nail on the head.

    They have led in the fourth quarter of every game and they are finally making the plays in the 4th quarter to close out games.

  2. peterjohnjoseph - Nov 12, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    What people fail to realize is, in the 4 games they lost, they were winning by 15-25 points going into the 3rd of 4th quarter of each. They also have led in the 4th quarter of EVERY game thus far. Brad Stevens has proved himself more than a capable coach able to get the most out of what he has, and they are buying in, with no one refusing to not put in 100% every night. They are winning in spite of what they’ve been given.

    I’d also like to add Jeff Green to the above list of players that are upping their game. Inconsistency has been biggest downfall, and he’s seen while we’ve still seen it this year, he has really emerged as this teams big game player. Theres a reason he was given the ball in the 0.6 left in the game vs Miami, and like several games he won in the final second last year, he didn’t disappoint.

    I’m guessing the groups of people that were hoping this would be Team Green Tank are really wishing we hired Brad Stevens a year later.

    • peterjohnjoseph - Nov 12, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      *Inconsistency has been his biggest downfall, and while we’ve still seen it this year, he has really emerged…..

    • antistratfordian - Nov 12, 2013 at 1:37 PM

      Sure… but… they really only beat the Jazz and the Magic. 3 wins against 2 teams. Yay?

      • maracineanu16 - Nov 12, 2013 at 2:34 PM

        did you “unintentionally” fail to mention the Heat?

      • antistratfordian - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        They were implied when I said “really only”

    • jcmeyer10 - Nov 12, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      They have held the lead in the fourth quarter of every game this year. I love Brad Stevens, I even watch his pre AND post game interviews. You get the sense he knows the game without having to go out of his way to say it.

    • jcmeyer10 - Nov 12, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      I will tell you, this is the most interested I have been in this team for years. Just a bunch of guys trying to prove the ‘experts’ wrong. It’s like the Red Sox being so likeable this year. Just guys grindin’.

      Plus I am impressed at the composure and buy in he is getting without yelling. I get 4 or so games 20 rows up from the Celtics bench and could pretty much hear Doc from there. Will be curious how Steven’s does his in game huddles.

      • peterjohnjoseph - Nov 12, 2013 at 6:52 PM

        Honestly, I kind of feel the same way. It is pretty intriguing to see any team do more than expected.

        My only fear is, what happens if we just become a tweener team? We win more than expected, but fail to make the playoffs? Then we’ve really accomplished nothing, and have lost out on the lottery. I don’t know, I guess that the mystery of how this plays out, and where we spend those draft picks is pretty intriguing.

    • dondada10 - Nov 12, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      Great comment. I’m a huge Stevens fan and love the fact that he’s got his guys out-working other teams. Their talent may wear thin by the end of the season, but it’s a credit to Stevens and the entire Celtics roster that they’re being extremely professional.

  3. eugenesaxe1 - Nov 12, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    And what does this tell us about the Atlantic division, that .500 is good enough to be on top?

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