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Topic Tuesday: Are the Celtics the best team in the league?

A look around at some of the NBA Power Rankings

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Oklahoma City Thunder v Boston Celtics Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images

Your Boston Celtics are at the top of the standings with an 11-3 record. Both the Bucks and Jazz have lost 2 straight to fall behind Boston. But does that make the Celtics the best team in the league? Let’s sample some power rankings around the web (most of which were posted before last night’s results). - John Schuhmann - Rank #1

As a team, the Celtics have seen the league’s second biggest jump in assist/turnover ratio, from 1.82 (11th) last season to 2.06 (second) this season. And through Week 4, they’ve scored 3.4 more points per 100 possessions than any other team. That would be the biggest differential between the first and second-ranked offenses in the 27 seasons for which we have play-by-play data.

Sports Illustrated - Wilton Jackson - Rank #2

Boston had a perfect 4–0 mark last week and is riding a six-game winning streak. Jayson Tatum is building his resume as one of the elite scorers in the league, averaging 32.3 points per game—third best behind only Steph Curry and Luka Dončić. If Tatum continues to hit his stride and the team’s three-point shooting remains hot—the Celtics lead the league in three pointers made—Boston could potentially take over the top spot. Boston has a matchup against the Thunder on Monday, followed by the start of a three-game road trip with stops in Atlanta and New Orleans.

The Athletic - Zach Harper - Rank #2

The Celtics are on fire right now, winning six straight games. Nothing embarrassing on their ledger with the schedule, although they’d like to have at least split with Cleveland so far. Jayson Tatum is playing like he’s arguably the best player in the world for the time being, and their offense is demolishing opposing teams in the half court. Their poor defense hasn’t even mattered because the teams in front of them can’t stop Boston.

So let’s look at the rest of the league for contenders. For much of the season the Bucks have been in the pole position. They feature the league’s best defense and an MVP on offense. They haven’t been generating a lot of offense (ranked 23rd) and sorely miss Khris Middleton. Will his return be enough to balance out the offense? I fully expect this team to be a key contender all season long.

Out West the Jazz may be sliding back to reality with a couple of losses. Then there’s a large group of teams with 8 or 9 wins, including the Nuggets and Grizzlies who the Celtics recently beat as part of their current win streak.

The defending champion Warriors have struggled to integrate the younger players on the team and are hovering on the south side of .500 at the moment. Enough virtual ink has been wasted on the likes of the Nets and Lakers but I am just petty enough to bring them up just to snicker at their expense.

It is a long NBA season and a lot can and will happen between now and Christmas, never mind the playoffs. But it is fun to be at the top of the standings no matter what the calendar reads.

So what is your opinion? Are the Celtics the best team in the NBA?


Are the Celtics the best team in the NBA?

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    (419 votes)
  • 6%
    (41 votes)
  • 24%
    We’ll see
    (152 votes)
612 votes total Vote Now

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