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Ok guys, this is the last chance to jump on the Celtics bandwagon without getting crap from the fans that have stuck with the Celtics the entire season. The Celtics are 17-7 since the All-Star break with only two teams having a better record since then. There are a lot of factors that have come together for the Celtics during this run and there actually is hope for a decent playoff run. Ray Allen injured his ankle and this sparked something great for the new look Celtics: the emergence of Avery Bradley.
Bradley has been a top defender since he entered the league, and now it seems like he has found his confidence on the offensive end of the court. His last ten games he is averaging 13.4 PPG and is shooting over 50% from the field. Bradley has made a living by hitting open jump shots and cutting to the hoop on the baseline, helping Rondo rack up some easy assists. Playing Rondo and Bradley on the court together gives them a lot of versatility on offense and makes them one of the best defensive backcourts in the NBA.
With Bradley in the starting lineup, Doc’ Rivers has moved Kevin Garnett to center with Bass playing power forward. This has to be the biggest factor to the new look Celtics. Since he has moved to center, KG has had just about 18 PPG and 8 RPG, nine double-doubles, and three 20/10 games. He is quicker than the centers that guard him and he stretches the floor with his outside jumper, with some of the centers not even leaving the paint to put a hand in his face.
Ray Allen has come back from his injury, but he has not returned to the starting lineup. Doc’ has kept the same starting lineup and moved Allen to the second string which has boosted the Celtics bench scoring tremendously. Mickael Pietrus, one of their best bench players, has been out with a concussion this entire run and is expected to be ready for the playoffs.
There are a few things we have learned since the all-star break. 1) If the Celtics can remain healthy they are a legitimate contender in the East. 2) Doc’ Rivers is a true basketball genius. Nothing for the roster changed in the past month except for the fact that people got injured. He changed the lineup around to make them a greatly improved team. 3) Rondo is an absolute superstar. Not even looking at his numbers, Rondo’s command of the floor and dominance at his position is unlike any other point guard in the league; and a scary thought for competitors: he’s learning how to shoot.
Well, now that you're all caught up, go out and hop on that bandwagon. We won't tell.
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