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The Celtics exacted revenge Saturday night against the Pistons in Detroit, winning 92-85 (NBA.com Box Score). Boston owes all its gratitude to Glen “Big Baby” Davis, who came off the bench to help power the Celtics with 20 points on 8-10 shooting. Davis, a rookie out of LSU, played most of the minutes down the stretch when the game was tight in one of the most important regular season games in recent Celtics’ history.
With the win, the C’s get their ninth-striaght victory to improve to an amazing 29-3. They are closing in on one of the best starts in NBA history, which is 37-3 by the Philadelphia 76ers back in the Wilt Chamberlain days. The C’s will need 8 more wins in a row, but that would not be that hard considering they already have winning streaks of 8, 3, 9, and the current streak of 9 already this season. Just think if they defeated the Pistons at home back in mid-Decemeber (when they lost 87-85), the Celtics would have just rolled off an 18-game winning streak.
One important note to consider is that Kevin Garnett is and always will be the X-factor to defeating the Pistons, and most teams for that matter. Early in the first quarter, KG picked up is second foul and had to ride the bench because of foul trouble. During that time with KG out, the Pistons mounted a huge lead. When KG played in 32 minutes, the Celtics outscored the Pistons by 23! His defense is sorely missed when he’s not in the lineup.
I also have to give kudos to Paul Pierce. Ray Allen has not been shooting well or scoring much lately (9 points vs. Detroit, 2 vs. Memphis), so that has left a larger load on Pierce. Pierce has responded by stepping his game up, and he has carried the Celtics on his back offensively. With KG in foul trouble against the second-best team in the NBA, Pierce was required to remain on the floor for 46 of the 48 minutes played. He responded to the call by tallying 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists
I’ll be honest, it’s getting to the point that I expect the Celtics to win every single night. Basketball, like baseball, is a long season. While not as long as MLB’s 162-game schedule, 82 games is a lot to play over the course of a few months. I find it amazing that I can expect a team that plays 82 games to win every night. They have not been blown out at all. In their 3 losses, they lost two of them by 2 points and the third in overtime. They’ve also bounced back to defeat Orlando, Cleveland, and Detroit in revenge situations.
The Celtics have to be considered the best team in the NBA right now. They have played infinitely better than last season, and have outshined all of the teams from the East and West. I know they have yet to play San Antonio, Dallas, or Phoenix, but their time will come.