After polishing off the recap to last night's Knicks / Celtics tilt, something occurred to me. The Celtics are now sporting a 10 - 2 record, a frothy .833 winning percentage, and really have only played complete games twice this year (Cleveland and Detroit).
While it is certainly easy to point to the struggles we've seen thus far, namely, poor starts, inconsistent play from Rajon, inconsistent shooting from Ray and Eddie, not enough inside play from KG, etc., there is something to be said about getting it done while not playing at an optimum level.
Possibly coinciding with the on court struggles, the NBA schedule makers haven't been very kind to the defending Champs to start the season. Everyone is familiar with the 8 games in 12 days stretch the Celtics recently completed, however what I haven't seen mentioned much is that the Celtics have played the 4th hardest schedule to date as measured by opponents winning percentage, with their foes sporting an average win rate of 56.9% (which is further depressed by the fact that the Celts beat the majority of these teams, removing games versus the Celts would increase this figure quite a bit so early in the season).
That the Celtics have played such a rough slate of games in terms of quality of opponents and the overall timing so early in the season while maintaining a dominant record really speaks to the quality of the team. We know that the Celtics are capable of another gear (or two) - and that has what has made some of the inconsistency to date a bit frustrating. Things could most definitely be worse. However, taking a step back, they're well positioned in the conference with a great record and have already sent early messages to last season's playoff foes. The Celtics will be better as the season progresses, which should scare the daylights out of the rest of the league.
(current division standings post jump)
How do you feel about the first 12 games?
Great - ready for repeat (124 votes)
Alright - a nice start sure, room for improvement (743 votes)
Paper Champ - its downhill from here (30 votes)
Sky is falling (11 votes)
908 total votes