Live EventBarstool Sports Picks Central || Thursday, February 2nd, 2023Watch Now
Gear Up for the Big Game | New Football T-Shirts, Hoodies, Hats, Beanies, Flags and MoreSHOP NOW

The Celtics Winning Streak Is Up To 6 And They Are Beating Teams In Ways I Did Not Know Was Possible

Steven Ryan. Getty Images.

6 in a row. 8 of their last 9. 13 of their last 17. Another game, more forward progress. We're in uncharted waters right now when it comes to this team considering at no point this season have they allowed us to feel this way. They aren't just beating bad teams who may or may not be missing all their good players. They are destroying them. They are crushing their spirit before even breaking a sweat. And the best part is they are doing it consistently. There is is! Consistency! We've been begging to see this Celts team play well with any sort of prolonged consistency and not this two good wins one bad loss bullshit. Well, I'd say the last 6 weeks or 21 games certainly qualifies. They've been one of the best teams in basketball over this stretch and there's really no point trying to deny or discredit it. The same shit I'm seeing people try and say to do those exact things weren't exactly being said when the Celts were losing games under those same conditions. Funny how that works. Here's where we stand over the last 21 games.

Record: 15-6 (3rd most wins)

Offense: 113.5 (11th)

Defense: 101.5  (1st)

Net Rating: +12.0 (1st)

AST%: 61.6% (14)

TS%: 58.4% (8th)

+/-: +11.4 (1st)

Over these last 6 wins, the Celts have an average margin of victory of 20.5 points. 20.5 points!! Yes, your Boston Celtics are doing this. It's crazy, it makes you feel certain things, it's exciting, I know. We're seeing them do shit I didn'teven know they were capable of. I mean, they started this game up 28-2 in the first seven minutes. Read that shit again. You didn't know they were capable of that even if they played your local JCC men's league team. If you told us the Celts would be involved in a game that had a score of 28-2, pretty sure most people aren't thinking the Celts are the one with 28 points.

As fans, we begged this team to show us they were capable of a run like this. But like I always say, even in the good times, perspective is important. They are still the 7th seed as of this morning. They haven't really done shit yet. Honestly, they did what you would expect them to do given their schedule/quality of opponents. There's also nothing wrong with taking care of your own business. That's what good teams do, and for a team that refused to do just that for the first month plus of the season, actually seeing them do it is a sign of progress. That's what we all want. We wanted them to show us a body of work that was worthy of starting to believe in. That's all they've done. They haven't reached the top of the mountain, far from it. 

But it's also true that this is not the same team we watched in November and December. They are finally healthy. Their play looks nothing like what we saw earlier in the year on either end. Ime is learning and getting better. The vibes are immaculate, and that comes from winning. I always said, if you don't want the anonymous sources and don't want all the blow it up talk….win. You win, that shit stops immediately. Notice how we don't have any ESPN stories about how this team stinks where anonymous sources are foaming at the mouth to slander Jayson Tatum? It's because they win. Keep winning, that shit won't come up again. 

Things get immediately tougher given the fact the Celts are now about to play 3 teams with an actual pulse in DEN/ATL/PHI, butyou know the drill by now. Before we look ahead, we first need to talk about the absolute ass kicking we witnessed last night.

The Good

- Lot of good individual performances to choose from, but if you've read my blogs you know I'm a sucker for NBA history, so that is where we will begin. Any time you get to see something nobody has witnessed in over 25 years, that's a good place to kick us off. What am I talking about? Click play

I can honestly say I haven't seen a quarter that insane in maybe my entire life. That's really the only way I can explain it. It was insane. I found myself sitting on my couch chuckling to myself as the score continued to balloon. I thought maybe there was a glitch or something because I didn't know how to feel. It was like the varsity team playing the JV only a billion times worse. It just goes to show how locked in this team is right now. There was no playing with their food. There was no letting some random Nets player go off for 30. Shit, there wasn't a single lead change or tie…….again. I mean look at this shit!

The best part of that 28-2 start was the fact that it's not like it came off prayer three point shooting. The Celts only had 4 3PM in the first. It came via defense, causing 6 TOs and attacking the paint. 22 of their 35 points came in the paint in that quarter. They shot 62% because everything was essentially a layup. 

You want to talk about having a good start, I'm not sure it's physically possible to get better than 28-2. What a world.

- Earlier in the year one of the more frustrating parts of the Celts inconsistency and bad losses was the fact that in those games against inferior teams, their two best players often laid eggs. That shit was infuriating. Now, that's not really happening, in fact I would goso far to say we're actually now getting the exact opposite. 

Jaylen has pretty much been on a war path since getting denied from the All Star Game

and guess who it was that set the tone early in that first quarter. That's right, First Quarter Jaylen. He had 12 points on 5-6 shooting in the first 12 minutes and the rest is history. Obviously I love the 9 assists and only 3 TOs, and it's no surprise that Jaylen finished with the team lead at +40 in his 27 minutes. Everything about Jaylen is locked in right now. His play on both ends and his overall mentality

If you want a true turnaround, it will always start with the best players. The Jays have started to figure their shit out and the results speak for themselves. Jaylen tried to tell us things were about to change

and all he's done is back that up with his play.

- Then there was Tatum. This wasn't one of his outrageous scoring performances. He only finished with 19 points on 7-11 (2-6) shooting. But you know what? It was one of his better all around games of the season

Here's what I truly care about with Tatum's night. Look at how comfortable he was handling the double. There was no panic, no rush, he broke it with ease every time by being unselfish. He knows the correct reads to make and continues to be a willing passer. You see, while the Nets doubled, it's not like they did it with any sort of length. I'm not sure Tatum even noticed Patty Mills. 

If you're now not going to be able to double Tatum effectively, I'm not sure what you do. Being able to trust Tatum like this and know that he's going to make the correct basketball play and not force things offensively is a pretty big development. This is the type of defense every team is going to throw at him. They are going to dare anyone other than Tatum to beat them, which is smart. The issue becomes then you have to deal with someone like Jaylen having an advantage. Almost like it's valuable to have both of those guys on your team and on the floor at the same time! 

- Ball movement isn't just the key to basketball, it's basically the key to life. That's one of the best parts of this run, the ball is MOVING. Another 32 AST on 50 FGM in this game, the Celts are now 25-12 in games where they finish with over 22 assists. You know what that tells me? Passing the ball works! Please continue to do it! When the ball moves and multiple guys touch it, they get confidence. Then their shot starts falling, then the team feels better, then they play better, then they win. It's all connected.

When do things feel like shit? When the ball sticks, guys don't touch it, they then have to force shots because of a low clock, they miss, they play worse, they lose. Why do you think the Warriors style of play is so contagious for that team? Because they move the fucking ball. Quick decisions, unselfish play, high percentage looks. That's the name of the game. We had possessions where we saw 5-6 passes to different guys before a shot went up. You know how refreshing that is? It's like Ime gave this team an exorcism or some shit. The power of ball movement compels you!

- I think we can all agree that Marcus Smart is playing some of the best basketball of his career right now. He came back on 1/23 and everything has been incredible. His shot selection, his unselfishness, it's all been exactly what we want to see. So what better time to reward him than in a game where you're up a billion points? If there was ever a time to let him get all those shots out of his system, it was last night. The funny part? He shot the ball great!

22 points on 8-16 (6-13) shooting, Smart led the tam in FGA. Normally, him having 13 of his 16 FGA be threes would be a bit of an issue, but to me this was the Basketball Gods rewarding him for his unselfish play. Now we'll see what happens now that he had a hot shooting night, but my guess is he'll play the same way he's done since coming back. This was just a nice opportunity for him to get those shots up that he had been passing up for the last few weeks.

Then on the other end, it was more DPOY shit. Same shit different day really. This is basically one of my favorite tweets to write the next morning

This man had Patty Mills in HELL. We're at the point where Smart is completely removing the best offensive option from a game. Pick a name or team, look it up, and you'll see the same shit. There is not a position he cannot guard at a high level. That's the reality. That is not exactly common, especially from ya know…a point guard. That's right, I said point guard. Deal with it.

- Will I ever get tired of watching Rob do cool shit on the basketball court? Early reports suggest no fucking way

12/11/1/1/3 on 6-9 shooting in his 27 minutes. Ho hum, just another day at the office. It's not like the Nets had any sort of big that Rob had to worry about so I expect him to dominate like this. There's not really much else to say. The Lob to Rob is one of the most unstoppable plays in NBA history. His defense and rim protection continues to be spectacular. And most importantly, he's healthy.

- Speaking of health, just a quick reminder that the Celts normal intended starting 5 has now played 21 games together. Here's how they are doing

Games: 21 

Record: 15-6 

265 minutes / 117.5 Ortg / 87.9 Drtg / +29.6 net rating / 63.1% AST%

Almost like they fit and work together! Feels good to be on the right side of history on this one so far. 

- First we got the Payton dunk, last night it was Bruno's turn

OK not sure that was really a windmill but whatever, awesome dunk.

- I don't want to get ahead of myself, but it feels like we're getting back to seeing early season Al. Especially defensively. Not to be overlooked, a big part of the Celts rise to the top of the league defensively is what Al does as the backbone. He can guard his position, he's great at switches, he can protect the rim and stay with quicker guards, that's all shit we're seeing during this run. Like you, I would like to see those open looks start to drop at a higher rate, but Al is absolutely finding ways to make an impact without scoring. Last night he was solid with 7 assists and great defense, and that's all you need from him.

- Man these guys really hate each other huh. Remember that anonymous source who said they don't enjoy one another's success? What a salty asshole 

The Bad

- It's OK to admit, we all got a litttttttttttle nervous when the lead dropped to 12. Who can blame us given all that we've been through this season. Thankfully, that stress didn't last long but let's not pretend like things looked good to start the second quarter. Turnovers, giving up a shit ton of layups, it was not great. Ultimately didn't matter, but it did feel like the Celts lost their focus a little bit in the first stint of that quarter.

- It's hard to do in a game you were once up 35, but Dennis and JRich were a -13 in their minutes. I didn't feel like either played all that well. JRich only took 1 shot so he was mostly out there for some cardio, and with Dennis while he shot 4-7, he did have 2x the TOs as AST, and the pace pretty much went to shit when he came in. I just wish he played fast all the time. Things are so much better when he does that.

- TNT can go right to hell. Suddenly the Celts are on National TV kicking the shit out of someone and their feed magically stops working so they can instead show PHX/PHI? Fuck that. Then it magically comes back once that game ended? I've had to sit through plenty of National TV games where the Celts are getting killed, there's no magical malfunction. We as fans deserve to enjoy every second of that shit. Sorry it doesn't help everyone's favorite past time of shitting on the Celtics. With the game being on TNT, there was no other way for fans to watch. We were stuck. They blatantly lied to our faces and I will never forgive them. 

- Still waiting for Aaron to make a three. Open, contested, doesn't matter. It feels like we haven't seen him make a three in months. Not great when you're supposed to be making the most of your minutes (0-3 last night).

The Ugly

- You know the drill. We won't be in this section again until the Celts lose which may be never and may also be Friday. Nobody knows. The possibilities are endless. 

This has all been fun and games, winning usually is. But now let's see it against real teams. They go 2-1 or god forbid 3-0 during this next stretch, oh boy. They go 0-3? I don't think you can say anything has really changed. So far the Celts have been stepping up to the challenge, so I'd like to see them keep this train rolling.