Saturday, September 1, 2012

3 Game Win Streak for Boston (24-8)

After a scoring drought against the Clippers, the Celtics visited Oakland, Phoenix and returned to Boston to host the visiting Raptors. All three games were one-sided due to Boston's strong and consistent team play, playing smart to maintain leads despite threatening runs by the opposition and cracking down on the defensive side of the court.

Despite a double-double by Andrea Bargnani, the Raptors suffered from the same plague that had stricken Boston's other two opponents, keeping them under 100 points as Boston zoomed into the land of three digit numbers. For teams that are usually offensively fluent, Boston managed to masquerade in their places, with Paul Millsap and Kenyon Martin breaking into the top ranks of the league's FG% leaders. Every game by Boston was met with an even flow of scoring. Nobody shot poorly, 3's were splashing down, and blocks were coming down hard on their adversaries.

Not helping matters were the horrid shooting performances from the top players on the opposing teams. Collectively, Goran Dragic of Phoenix (1-20 from the field) and Stephen Curry of Golden State (7-25 from the field) shot their teams out of striking distance, making errant and uninspired plays when they are meant to direct a healthy offense.

While the other teams struggled to find a scoring flow, Boston rolled along like a stream, nearly capsizing Toronto by 30 before the buzzer sounded. This meant much needed rest for Boston's starting five and the rise of rookie forward Jared Sullinger (15 points against Toronto), along with solid showings by backup guard Avery Bradley and a towering double-double by KG (17 points, 12 rebounds). Going into a grudge match against the trailing Miami Heat (23-9 at #2 in the Eastern Conference), Boston has to be loving this win streak and must be confident that their efficient team chemistry will survive another gritty showdown in South Beach.

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