More than two weeks ago the Boston Celtics looked pretty pathetic. They were tired and lethargic. After starting out the season looking like world beaters and making early season claims that they could be one of the greatest teams of all times they fell to Earth with a deafening thud much like the mythical character Icarus. They were 9-4 and had lost games to the Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic. They'd lost 3 games at home already. Elite teams don't do that.
Kevin Garnett looked tentative on offense and not as explosive as he was previous to his knee injuries. Paul Pierce was carrying the team. Ray Allen seemed to be cruising. Rajon Rondo and Kendrick "The Hulk" Perkins stepped their games up and the bench additions of Rasheed Wallace, Marquis Daniels and Shelden Williams paid off earlier but now Rasheed Wallace and Eddie House couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat. The defense took a vacation and teams started hitting threes in bunches against them. Fuck was going on?
It all started after they traveled to New York to play a surprisingly tough game against the pesky Knicks. That game was won on a last second shot in OT by Kevin Garnett. Then they won another close game against the young athletic 76ers. They were on a winning streak after losing 3 out of 5 from November 11th to November 20th during a brutal early schedule. Slowly, their defensive intensity increased. Then people began to get their touch back. The ball began moving again. The Celtics were climbing the mountain again. The rest of the league began to take notice.
The Celtics have been playing impressive defense in December. Kevin Garnett has regained his explosiveness and has been shooting 70% in his past 5 games. He's catching alley oops from Rondo and finishing on the end of breaks like his old self again. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are back in the fold and playing well as the Celtics finished up a 4-0 road trip to become a league best 9-1 on the road. The Celtics are currently riding a 7 game win streak and they hope to extend it further. Even Rasheed Wallace and Eddie House have found their strokes again.
Kendrick "The Hulk" Perkins (12 ppg 8 rpg 2 bpg on the young season) has been playing like an All Star during this win streak averaging 15 ppg 9.4 rpg 2 bpg over the past 7 games while shooting a staggering 77% from the field (40-52). Keep sleeping on this dude. He's only 25 and he gets better each season. Soon, he'll be an All Star center in the East. The Boston Celtics are currently 16-4 1/4th of the way through the 2009-10 NBA season and they seem to be firing on all cylinders again. Imagine if we got Greg Oden in the 2008 NBA Draft instead? Sheeeeiiiit! © Clay Davis