SBNationhas had power rankings for a while now, but up until recently they were generated by voting bloggers. So the collective conscience was to blame if the C's were too low. But now there's a single blogger ranking them, the same guy that brought you the highly debated "Watchability Scale" rankings. So now you can blame him when the C's are underrated. (Actually, he does quality work on both Bullets Forever and SBNation and I think he did well with the rankings)
Of course, you might want to wait for another week because the Celts are ranked 2nd in this poll behind only the streaking Cavs. Hard to argue with that after 2 straight losses to inferior opponents.
SB Nation's NBA Power Rankings: Beware The Rising Cavaliers - SB Nation
The Warriors are an impossible team to play on the second night of a back-to-back (just ask the Suns), and the Clippers' loss struck me as a classic "lose the battle, win the war" game. What do I mean? Doc Rivers elected to let Rajon Rondo make all the decisions down the stretch for the Celtics, even though Rondo's a terrible free-throw shooter. Ray Allen got one good look near the end of the game; otherwise, it was all Rondo. Rondo obviously failed in the end, missing two free throws before Baron Davis' classic buzzer beater, but he'll need that experience down the road. The Celtics will need him to make winning plays in pressure situations in the playoffs, and since that Clippers game ultimately doesn't matter to them much, what better time to give Rondo that exposure?
That is just what I was getting at near the end of my "Will There Be A Letdown Stretch" post. These games are learning experiences. Much better to let Rondo take his lumps now than to let it be a factor in the Spring.
Also, check out the post that Paul Flannery wrote on the lessons learned last night. Good stuff as always by him.
Green Street " Fast Break: Celtics-Warriors
In retrospect, the first 12 minutes may have been the Celtics’ undoing in a 103-99 loss. (Recap.) Playing one of their best quarters of the season, the Celtics destroyed Golden State and took a 35-22 lead. But while those easy looks remained there all night, the Celtics never settled down and played their game, with 24 turnovers one of the results.
Lessons are sometimes learned the hard way.
Oh, and if you are still in the mood for some non-C's talk, here's a question to consider (and a detailed post about it):
Are the Orlando Magic Underachieving? - Orlando Pinstriped Post
The Orlando Magic awoke this morning with a 22-8 record, good for first in the Southeast Division, third in the Eastern Conference, and fourth in the entire NBA. And yet after a season in which they made an astonishing run to the NBA Finals, there's a sense that they're underachieving. Something just doesn't seem right, which has led to more trade speculation and complaining among fans than normal.