- Celtics record without The One-Man Press: 14 wins, 17 losses.
- Celtics record with The One-Man Press: 6 wins, 1 loss.
- Celtics record over the final 44 games of the regular season (Darko Index predicts): 32-12.
- Final Atlantic Division Standings (Darko Index predicts on 1/15):
New York 51-31
Celtics current win streak: 6 games.
Upcoming opponents, degree of difficulty (1-5):
- Wednesday, 1/15, home vs. New Orleans. Degree of difficulty (3).
After starting the season 7-25, due in large part to the absence of their second-best player, Eric Gordon, the Hornets won 4 straight (including home wins against San Antonio and Houston), before losing a matinee to the Knicks at MSG. The Celtics should be thankful the rejuvenated Hornets face the 76ers in Philly on Tuesday night.
- Friday, 1/17, home vs. Chicago (5).
The Bulls, with or without Derrick Rose, cause Boston serious match-up problems. Joakim Noah put-up a triple-double during the Celtics ugly loss in Chicago a month ago. The Bulls held Atlanta to an embarrassing 58 points (20 at the half) on Monday night. Larry Drew needs to call in a group therapist. His Hawks must have had flashbacks to the 33-9 3rd quarter the Celtics dropped on them recently. Chicago’s Luol Deng has the length and physicality to make life miserable for Paul Pierce. Sullinger’s rebounding, and the outside shooting of Bradley, Green, Lee and Terry will make the difference in this nationally televised affair (ESPN, 7pm EST). The bench in general will have to provide quality minutes for the Celtics to survive Chicago and up the streak to 8 games.
- Sunday, 1/20 @ Detroit (3).
The C’s will likely be tired and somewhat beaten-down by the Bulls game. The Pistons have decent young big men, which could create problems. This one could be tougher than it should be.
- Tuesday, 1/22 @ Cleveland (1).
and…wait for it…..
- Thursday, 1/24 vs New York Knicks (5) (TNT, 8pm EST).
If the Celtics can get by Chicago, they could be looking at a 10-game, season-correcting win-streak heading into a potentially bloody rematch with Carmelo, J.R. Smith, Chandler, and the rest of those Knicks. I’m expecting Mike Woodson to send Mr. Dirty (the expendable Kurt Thomas) not Chandler to attempt a take-down of KG for the whole Melo-KG circus. I especially look forward to Avery Bradley matching up with J.R. Smith again.