Boston Celtics are playing to win, not to tank

The deepest pool of draft prospects in a decade will be available for the 2014 NBA Draft, and many teams are looking to have a weak season to get a chance at a top draft pick. Not the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics (4-4) are on a four-game win-streak after dismantling the Orlando Magic Monday night with a final score of 120-105. Avery Bradley was the leading scorer with 24 points, but other the Celtics’ other guard Jordan Crawford played a larger role with his 16 points and 10 assists.

Crawford also had an impressive five rebounds, which was the second most on the team. All the guards looked fantastic with Bradley, Crawford, Courtney Lee, and Phil Pressey tallying up 59 total points for the Celtics.

Every starter for the Celtics finished the game scoring in double digits.

A majority of experts and analysts not only predicted the Celtics not making the playoffs, but also had them dead last in  power rankings.

The Celtics’ four-game winning streak is showing that they are not going to lay down for any team just to improve their draft stock. They are showing a lot of heart early on for rookie head coach Brad Stevens, and are keeping every game close. Even in their four losses, the Celtics kept games within 10 points, which proves that there has been no thought of not being able to compete with other teams in the NBA.

Rajon Rondo
(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Even though the Magic (who the Celtics have beaten twice) and the Utah Jazz, The Celtics managed to beat the defending champions Miami Heat with a game-winning shot by Jeff Green that was pure clutch.

The road ahead is going to be the real challenge. Over the next two weeks, the Celtics will have to face some legitimate contenders. In order, the Celtics will face the Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, and the Atlanta Hawks. Four out of six of those games will be on the road, and those teams currently have a combined record of 34-11 as of last Monday night.

The irony of it all is that the Brooklyn Nets are currently tied for last place, who not only have former Celtic players Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry, but where they finish in the standings will determine the draft pick that the Celtics possess due to the blockbuster trade over the summer. It is way too early to say who will finish on top, but if the season ended now, the Celtics would be in the playoffs and a lottery pick for the 2014 draft.

The Celtics will have a shot to get their first winning record of the season against the Charlotte Bobcats before they have to take on that brutal six-game run.

One thing is for sure, Coach Stevens will continue to push this team and it’s top ranked defense to continue to stay in games that people count them out of before the ball is even tipped off.