“Celtics are the only team in the East with a winning record against .500 and above teams”: How Jayson Tatum and company have been elite against the best of the best
The Boston Celtics are the only team in the Eastern Conference to have a winning record against teams at or above .500.
The Boston Celtics were once the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference in the starting months of the 2022 NBA season. This wouldn’t have even qualified them for the play-in tournament, let alone put them in the conversation for being contenders of sorts.
However, fast-forward to present day and the Celtics are riding a wave that they just might ride until the end of the regular season. The number one thing that the Celtics have completely bought into is their defense. They have the best defensive rating in the entire league at 105.4, merely 0.1 ahead of the Warriors.
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Defense is something that comes naturally to the Celtics at this point. It was the offense that looked stagnated throughout the first few months of the season. Isolation basketball coupled with their two superstars simply not getting into a rhythm kept them from being a good team.
Ime Udoka has forever preached team basketball with a solid primary playmaker (Marcus Smart) for the Celts and with the last quarter of the season here, they most certainly have bought into that mentality.
The Boston Celtics are winning against above .500 teams at an elite rate.
An 82 game season can drown out several impressive wins and the Boston Celtics have a plethora of those this year. They are the only team in the Eastern Conference, currently, with a winning record against teams that are at or above .500 this season, with a 16-14 record.
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Some of these wins include a 13 point victory over the Grizzlies a few days back, blowing the Sixers out by nearly 50 points last month, beating the Nets and the Bulls over and over again, amongst others.
Many believe team play is something that can’t be sustained into a deep Playoff run and if that doesn’t work, the Celtics have two guys on their team that are more than capable of generating a quality shot in the waning moments of a game.