The Boston Celtics win over the Miami Heat makes them 17-3 in their last 20 games, or one game behind their blistering 18-2 start. Back then, the prevalent thought was that the Celtics were a good team, but the losses would start piling up when they played somebody. You know, like Los Angeles, Detroit, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and New Orleans (actually, we smoked the Fakers at home in game 11, but we had to wait until game 29 to smoke them at Staples).
No one will suggest the Celtics played an easy schedule over the last 20 games. During this stretch we beat San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and Portland on the road, and New Orleans, Phoenix, Detroit, and Cleveland at home. Over the course of the season we won seven of nine games without KG, and won a similar percentage with Ray Allen on the shelf.
The bottom line is that other than the first Detroit game, the Boston Celtics have won every single game they tried hard to win, and for the most part, they won those games by a whopping margin.
The Celtics were thought to have two weakness when the season started, point guard and bench. No one will come out and say Rajon Rondo is the best point guard in the NBA, but almost no one would deny he's played on par with the best when competing directly against them. The bench went from something most critics once felt was a laughing stock to one of the deepest benches for a playoff team in recent memory. The green has thirty years of NBA experience in Sam Cassell and PJ Brown, and both may find it difficult to see extended minutes once Round 1 begins.
It is a rare season where the best team in the league is obvious from start to finish, and then goes on to win the championship. But this year might be just that kind of season.