Hello one and all for the first Power Rankings Breakdown! We do the work for you and scour the internets for other peoples' completely biased subjective opinions on how the Celtics stack up against the rest of the league. The gimmick is not something silly like 'wins' or anything. Its some mystical magical element called 'Power'. I'm told it has nothing to do with 'Rangers' or 'Of Greyskull'.
The Celtics objectively had a pretty good week. They absolutely anhillated the Atlanta Hawks in what was obviously a statement game from our boys. Then, they went and knocked out two easy ones against the Raptors and Nets. A 3-0 week is nothing to laugh at, and it was a far improvement over the previous week which saw sad (pathetic? deja-vuy?) losses to the Canadian Raptors and Durantuala-less Thunder.
This week though told a different story. A story of tragedy, of triumph, of return, and of resurgence. Let's look at the numbers.
Let's do this low to high. Coming in at the bottom are our friends at Dime Magazine. They're what the Spaniards call a "Negative Niña"
Dime Magazine: 6 Last Week: 7
Ten games missed to suspension, five games on the court, who knows how long he’ll miss now with a broken wrist. Was the Delonte West acquisition really worth it? I still think Boston could have picked up Flip Murray for all that.
Now, they've got a point. Delonte going out is a big deal. The guy was just establishing himself over his arch-nemisis Von Wafer, and BAM!...broken wrist. Doesn't seem fair, doesn't seem right. But you know what else doesn't seem right? The fact that good ol Dime Mag absolutely refused to mention the fact that the Celtics went off on the (then) 8-5 Hawks to the tune of 23 freakin points! Delonte gets hurt and you want to bring Flip Murray into this? Come on Dime Mag! Let's move on.
Next up, we have the "three's". Three different sources all ranked us behind the Mavs and Spurs, which based on records seems fair. The Spurs have arguably the best backcourt in basketball, and Dirk Nowitzki's +/- numbers are some of the best in the league. Both teams are rolling, and while I think the Celtics are better than either, I'm not mad at these rankings. Here are the highlights, in your power-rankings mashup:
Shaquille O'Neal is producing at a level no one could reasonably expect from a 38-year-old, 325-pound behemoth with more NBA tread on his tires than only a dozen or so players in league history, (SI.com) but Rondo's return puts our focus back on dimeage. (Marc Stein) Aside from a game against the Nets, the team won in convincing fashion, even with their star point guard missing some time. (Bleacher Report)
Well, still no mention of the Hawks. That's cool, that's cool. Apparently everyone is still trying to distance themselves from some early season gushing when the Hawks went 6-0. That's fine, whatever. Moving on.
Next up, we have the "2's". Both NBA.com and John Hollinger's
Completely Useless Daily Power Rankings had us at #2 today. Since John Hollinger's cruel unforgiving numbers lack the capacity for human emotion (He's working on that. He's going to take true shooting percentage, square it, divide it by the square root of sorrow, than multiply it by the relevant happiness factor, plus or minus PER), I'm going to let NBA.com's John Schuhmann do the back hand complementing:
Rajon Rondo (hamstring) is back, but Jermaine O'Neal (knee) is still out and the Celtics lost Delonte West indefinitely when he broke his wrist on Wednesday. Shaquille O'Neal had a bit of a renaissance last week, making 20 of his 23 shots and averaging 18 points and 10.3 rebounds in the Celtics' three wins.
Well hey, thanks NBA.com's John Schuhmann (completely seriously spelled, I swear). Thanks for telling us that we have two major injuries. Thanks for not mentioning the teamwork, the decisive win against Atlanta, or the resilience of the Celtics winning their most lopsided win with Rajon Rondo, their best player, out. Ugh.
And now, the crowning achievement, the number 1's. There is only one Number 1, but it comes complements of SBNation's Power Rankings. SBNation has a rather democratic approach to making their power rankings. They survey multiple blog contributors (yours truly included...) and make out an average position. They also divide it by conference, so while the Celtics are a "number 1", I rated them as a 1.5 for the average position, found below. Words this week were provided by Rohan Cryuff, who is one of the managing editors of SBNation's Hornets blog, At The Hive.
SBNation's Power Rankings: 1 (Eastern), Last Week: 2
I can't get over how good Shaq has been for these guys. I can't really explain it, but I have a hunch it was the whole "pretending to be a statue" thing that did it. That was the turning point. Nobody has ever had a bad season after pretending to be a statue.
In any case, Boston is doing a rather swell job (far sweller than I, for one, anticipated) of weathering the absence of Kendrick Perkins.
Oh SBNation, et tu? You make light of our "Big Discourager", and tell us we're doing swell (ever 'sweller'! The nerve!)? Thanks SBNation, we appreciate the honor, but we dislike the sentiment!
As expected after the exciting week the Celtics just had, we jumped in Average Position (eat that Hollinger! Numbers, I be thy master now!!).
Average Position For Week 5: 2.9
Average Position For Week 4: 4.7
Average position of roughly (BUT SLIGHTLY BETTER!) 3? I can take that. The Celtics have dropped some 'gimme' games, and Number 1's don't do that. We're not there yet. But, after last night's blowout of Cavaliers, I think we're moving in the right direction.I know at least one Power Rankings that's going to stay the night and make us breakfast (lookin at you, Hollinger).
So 'what do Celtics Fans think about the Celtics', you might ask. Well, it just so happens that we have a thingy for that too! If you will direct your attention to the left...no...up higher....wait, what's that? its not there? Oh, well if you just click "Home" at the top of the page (NOT YET!), you'd see the "Celtics Fan Confidence Poll". It has been there forever, but you probably never noticed it. Its okay, I'm not angry. In any case, it tracks how fans feel about the Celtics during the past week. Its like your little Al Roker there just hangin' out telling you the Fan Forecast...and this week (and I imagine every other week), the forecast is sunny, baby! 90+%! See ya next week!!!
***- Note on Hollinger's Daily Power Rankings: Since I just started doing this, and I can't find a place they're archived, I used yesterday's Power Ranking as Hollinger's number. Fear not though, from now on I will track our daily position (so you don't have to) and have an average number for next week.