The omens are beginning to come into alignment for the Celtics. One game after clinching their first 50-win season since Larry Bird's last year in the league, the renaissance roundballers won their 10th straight.
The last time the Celts acquired that many wins in a row was a 14-gamer in March 1986 . . . the last year the franchise won a championship.
While continuing to say that they're playing for more than just pretty regular season numbers, the C's did admit that they're, you know, playing pretty well.
``We've got a nice little groove going defensively and offensively,'' said Paul Pierce after last night's 111-82 walk over Seattle. ``We're riding this wave right now.''
Nice try, Scot
Scot Pollard gave the Celtics just 173 minutes over 22 games this season, but his effort in playing through injury did not go unnoticed.
Pollard had surgery to repair a ruptured left ankle tendon Tuesday night in Indiana, ending a year that saw him struggle after a bad preseason sprain. He had hoped the donning of NFL lineman-style braces would help him continue playing, but the injury obviously got worse.
The Celts appreciate his try.
``We do,'' said coach Doc Rivers. ``I mean, it's not like he wasn't trying to do the right thing. He was. He was trying to delay surgery. He hurt his ankle because he came in and he was playing with the guys early, which is something he didn't have to do and he did. So, I mean, everything he did was the right thing.
``It's just that it's one of those years where he gets injured and things don't work out for him. But as a coach . . . and I think his teammates understand, too, what he tried to do for the team, and I think it was great.'' . . .
It passed largely without notice, but Kevin Garnett moved into 25th place on the NBA's all-time rebound list when he pulled in 12 Monday.
Who needs practice?
The C's aren't scheduled to have a full practice again until next Thursday in Dallas, the day after meeting the Mavericks.
``That's a long time, but there's now way around it,'' Rivers said. ``You need legs. Our thought is getting to April where we have those two days between games where we can get back to practicing a lot.''
But the Celtics practice facility won't be empty today. Sam Cassell, P.J. Brown and a number of bench guys will work on some sets, while others will show up for personal sessions.
``In a way we are having practices, just not whole team practices,'' said Rivers. ``Baby (Glen Davis) comes every day because if he doesn't he would be Bigger Baby. ``Every single guy will be in the gym (today). That's why we do it. We noticed that every day we've had off they come in the gym and get shots up. They (lift weights). They work out. Once we saw that, you knew as a coach this is a team you can give days off to because they're going to work anyway.''
P.J.: So far, so good
Former Spurs assistant P.J. Carlesimo, now in his first year leading Seattle, isn't sure the timing is right yet to compare the Celtics to his old club.
``I don't know. To this point? As good or better,'' he said. ``San Antonio had some really good teams the five years I was there and the two years I was doing TV, but regular season's regular season. But (the Celtics) compare just as well or better right now.''
Noting the Spurs won 63 games in 2005-06 but were considered a failure because they lost in the playoffs, Carlesimo said the postseason will be the Celts' true proving ground.
``I think it's to be determined,'' he said. ``When the Spurs compare their teams from '03, '05 and '07, the starting point is, well, they won championships; now let's compare the teams. I don't think you can compare a regular season team to a championship team yet. We may be able to have the conversation come June.''