When Will This Train Slow Down?

I'm not trying to be a downer, but I can't help but wonder when this train is going to slow down a bit.  The law of averages, historical data, and common sense all indicate that no matter how good a team this is, they can't keep up this pace for the whole season.  You have to consider that the bounce of the ball (ie. fickle fate) alone could cost the team a game or two here or there.  To wit, consider Peter May's rundown of our record:

The Celtics are 29-3. Take a step back and reflect on that utterly astonishing record. They could go .500 the rest of the way - which would be a dramatic dropoff from the way they are playing - and still finish with 54 wins. They are (a) a Paul Pierce 3-pointer (which he's been known to make on occasion), (b) two Ray Allen free throws (money) and (c) a silly Tony Allen foul from possibly being 32-0. Conversely, they also are (a) a Sam Vincent brain cramp (a beauty), (b) a Dwyane Wade jumper (which he's been known to make on occasion), and (c) some Chauncey Billups free throws (money) from being 26-6.

Don't get me wrong, I prefer 29-3 to 26-6, but the latter number just seems to make more sense. Again, as May points out, we haven't played a lot of the better Western teams yet.

Will the next loss come as soon as Wednesday night?  I could see a letdown occur after the Pistons game against a team that played us to the wire the last time (it took a miracle steal, pass, and 3 pointer to win it).  Or I could see the team splitting the home-away back-to-back games with the Wizards (even without Gilbert Blogger).  In fact, there's not a lot of teams to "get up" for in the month of January except for Orlando and Dallas.

We also have been very healthy (knock on wood) so far this year.  I can't help but wonder if some of our 30-somethings are going to need the occasional few games off to rest their bodies and heal from various minor injuries (like Ray Allen did recently).  I would actually welcome that if it meant they would be healthy and fresh for the playoffs.

You have to think that the effort it would take to break the regular season record for wins would be more trouble than it is worth.  You never play not to win but you don't have to break your neck to win 72 games when 60 or 62 will give you home court advantage in the playoffs.  Keep playing the young guys long enough minutes to give the vets some rest.  And don't be afraid to play them in clutch situations.  Some days they'll fail (like Tony going for a pump fake or Rondo getting timid) but other times they'll come up huge (like Big Baby in the last game) and both outcomes will teach the team valuable lessons for the Spring.

This regular season record is worthless without following through when it counts.  I don't care about the Bulls' record, I want the Bulls' rings.  I don't think a losing streak is in the cards for this team.  KG and the team defense just wouldn't allow it.  I just think that as fans we should expect an occasional loss here or there.

Update: If you are still searching for things to complain about, here's a pretty good list.

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