Awwwwww snap!!!! Its that time again! I know, you were just sittin' around, countin yo' Benjamin Pile, just thinkin, "Man, I wonder how a bunch of regular guys who never played in the NBA would rank the Celtics in relation to all 30 NBA teams according to a subjective scale incorporating actual wins along with preconceived biases towards certain players and locations.."
Well I got news for you pal. What you were actually wondering was how the Celtics ranked according to POWER. I'm not talking about the kind of Power that you wish came with your wheels....and I'm not talking about the kind of Power that some people like to go with their 'hour'. I'm talking about Power; a wondrous made-up quality that means absolutely nothing to anyone of importance. Let's go look that those pretty, pretty, yet completely fictitious numbers.
The numbers varied this week, but not nearly as much as last week, as the Celtics capped off another perfect 7 day span. They climbed higher into the imaginary halls of 'Power', and trickled up nearly everybody's charts.
The low number on the ladder comes courtesy of AOL's (they still have that??) Fanhouse, and 'author' Brett Pollakoff. Here is how he justifies ranking the Mavs, Jazz, and Magic ahead of Boston's Finest:
Doc Rivers was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for November on Wednesday, and it was the sixth time in his career he's received the honor. All of the other Celtics coaches combined have won four since the inception of the award in the 1982-83 season.
Oh ho...bold move, Big Brett...bold move. You rank us behind the Mavericks, Jazz, and Magic (of course, ranking the Spurs, the team with the NBA's best record when you made the list, at #5...genius), than justify it with some praise for Doc Rivers, and hidden backhandedness for Chris Ford, Jim O'Brien, Pick Ratino, ML Carr, KC Jones, Bill Fitch, and the immortal John Carroll. Now, we know why you spell your name with two 'Ts', Brett Pollakoff. The second T is for Terrible.
Now, we move on to the 3's. Last week, there was a "Boston Three-Party" (har-har), with mulitple sources ranking us in the three-hole, usually behind Dallas and San Antonio. This week however, our friends over at Dime Magazine (apparently the kids call it the "Dime-Mag", or "D-Mag") have skipped us up to a respectable ranking of 3 after killing us last week (and unjustly, I might add) with a number 6. Here's what they're saying now:
Don’t forget, Kevin Garnett once led the NBA in rebounding four years in a row. He’s pulled down double-digit boards in four of his last five games and is averaging 9.6 for the season.
Okay, Dime Magazine. Okay. Instead of telling us how Delonte West is hurt, or how Shaq left a game at halftime, you tell us Kevin Garnett is awesome. Alright, we good Dime Mag.
At the two spot, or, as the spanish would say, "el deucerino", we have the second largest grouping. ESPN's loveable furbie Marc Stein, SI.com's 'tough-guy with a heart of gold' (and part-time Mr. Clean impersonator) Britt Robson, and whoever has the time to put together the slideshows at the Bleacher Report.
In all three of these 'articles' the Celtics have moved up a spot, from 3 to 2. I guess going 4-0 and rocking out a 7 game win streak (still ongoing) counts for something now a days.
Well, I dare say...thanks guys! 'championship contender'? A pretty good blurb detailing the run (lookin at you, Britt Robson)? Thanks guys!
Now...one of these things is not like the other. Britt and Mort Goldman showered us with platitudes and analysis, but all Marc Stein has is something non-committal about KG and Rondo? Thanks for bringing the fruitcake to the Christmas party, Marc Stein. Britt and Bleacher Report guy bring 12 yr old Scotch and homemade eggnog, while you're bringin' the fruitcake. Not cool Marc Stein.
Well, this is no time to dwell on some nay-sayers. We have the highlight the week up next!
In our biggest grouping, with 4 different sources, we have our 'numbero Unos'. SB Nation's Wil Cantrell, "The" Sporting News' Sean Deveney, NBA.com's John Schuhman, and John 'El Machina" Hollinger!
Now, SBNation had our backs last week anyways, but 3 of the 4 number 1's this week are kind of new at this whole "being right" thing. Let's see what they had to say...
Since acquiring Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, the Celtics are 87-14 in games played before Christmas. They're the No. 1 defense in the league again.
PF Kevin Garnett’s production wasn’t that bad last year, but this year, he is moving better and is much more active on both ends.
Joakim Noah was looking for a little love from his boyhood idol Garnett in Boston but instead, all he got was abuse as the Celts won 104-92. Noah lamented: "Just where is the love, know what I'm saying? None at all." Indeed Joakim, y'all ain't dating, so you best get used to it. (SBNation.com)
Beep boop. Beep Bung Beep Boop, Beep.
***Hollinger's rankings are daily, so his number is an average position, and SBNation only ranks by conference, so they're not an unqualified #1, but for my purposes, if they're less than #2, they're #1.
Aside from Sean Deveny from TSN's lackluster endorsement, I like what I'm reading there. Nice little quote from our blog brothers at SBNation, relevant stats from John Schuhmann from NBA.com (accurately spelled), robot noises from John Hollinger's Soulless NBA Math Machine, I like it.
By The Numbers!
This Week's Average Position: 2.00
Last Week's Average Position: 2.94
The Stupid Teams That Ranked Ahead Of Us! (number of polls, times ranked #1):
Dallas (4, 3 #1's), San Antonio (2, 2 #1's), Orlando (1, 0 #1's), Utah (1, 0#1's)
This week, we expanded our sample size to include 9 total "Power Rankings", and coincidentally it was on a week when the Celtics were on a roll. We had a nice mix of #2's and #1's, with #'1 occurring in nearly half the Power Rankings sampled. I have no problem really if anyone wants to rank Boston #2...we don't have the best record, we don't have the toughest strength of schedule, and we haven't beaten any of the teams being considered for a #1 ranking (Dallas, San Antonio). In that context, it is really a judgment call. While I believe our boys deserve a #1, I'm not mad that they don't get it from everyone.
The only thing I cannot fathom is: How could anyone rank the Celtics lower than 3rd? Dallas and San Antonio are both pretty good right now (with the Spurs starting to crack), but Boston is 8-2 against teams with .500 records or better (at the time the game occurred). They've clearly showed superior "Power" when compared to teams like Utah and Orlando.
Well, you can't get everything you want, and this team plays better when it is being challenged, so maybe its for the best that they're ranked #2. Let's see how this week plays out. Catch ya Next Week