The Celtics own the longest current losing streak in the league at eight games. They've dropped 13 of their last 14, with five of those coming during the past week. A pair of defeats to the Bulls, and even a halfhearted blowout in Washington were not that unexpected. But a nine-point home loss to the 76ers was downright shocking.
For the last two months Philly has been one of the worst teams in NBA history. Boston was actually favored by double-digits in that game, the first time they hadn't been underdogs since late February. Rajon Rondo even posted his first triple-double of the season. And somehow they still lost.
In an episode of Celtics Life Live last week, I mentioned that I am slightly worried as to why this team isn't better than they are. I assumed Rondo's return was going to make them a half-decent ball club, and that hasn't even come close to happening. Friday's debacle epitomized those fears.
Despite my concerns for the future, a worse record is clearly advantageous in the present. On Saturday the C's managed to fall in Detroit, even though they held a 19-point lead in the 3rd quarter. All of this adds up to a gigantic 15% spike on the Tankometer, rising from 62% a week ago.
The good news is that with just five games remaining Boston (23-54) has built an enormous two-game cushion on the Lakers (25-52), and has also pulled one ahead of the Jazz (24-53) for the 4th worst record in the NBA. The Celtics are also now within one game of Orlando (22-55) for the #3 spot in the lottery standings, something I never even considered a possibility.