So far, the Boston Celtics have taken advantage of a February schedule that has served them a helping of two sub-.500 teams.
Tonight, the Cs look to improve to 3-0 against losing teams this month as they host the 17-32 Sacramento Kings at the TD Garden.
Yes, I’m aware that the Celtics are only 17-33 on the season themselves, so I’m not implying that Boston is a superior team. Still, the Celtics have looked like a team with a clue lately. That, and the fact that they seem to have a starting five that is finally healthy enough to start gelling, makes me feel that this team is good enough to at least pick up wins against the rest of the bottom-feeding teams in the NBA.
Obviously, a huge reason why Celtics fans should feel like games like tonight’s are winnable games is the steady improvement of Rajon Rondo. His impact on the team cannot be measured solely by glancing at his stats, although a quick look at his line from Wednesday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers will show you that he had a hand in 3o of Boston’s 114 points on the evening (8 points, 11 assists). The improved play of Jeff Green the other night . . . the steadying influence on the Celtics’ offense at the ends of both the Philadelphia and the Orlando game . . . these are the sort of intangibles a superstar like Rondo brings to the floor, which is why the team is so much better than before he returned, and will only continue to get better the more he regains his form.
As for their opposition, the Kings are coming off back-to-back wins that saw DeMarcus Cousins go for 25 points in each of those two contests. Former Toronto Raptor Rudy Gay put up 24 points against his former team Wednesday, and rookie Isaiah Thomas is averaging 20 points a contest this season. Still, the Kings have dropped four straight on the road, and are giving up an average of 106.1 points as the away team, good for 27th in the NBA. Sacramento will have to find a way to keep Rondo from getting players like Green and Jared Sullinger going early, or else the Kings could find themselves in a big hole early.
Tonight’s game is set to tip-off at 7:30. Follow me on Twitter – @HoudiniCeltics and @theamazingMrS – and make sure you swing back in for my take on the game’s action!