The Boston Celtics are arguably the hottest team in the National Basketball Association and there are many statistics pointing in their favor in recent games. Although Doc Rivers called the victory over the Hawks, “The worst game we’ve ever won,” Rajon Rondo registered yet another triple-double, his 6th of the season. The rest of the NBA has combined for only 9 triple-doubles this season and no player has more than one except Rondo. The number 19 is currently an important one for Rondo and the Celtics. That was Rondo’s 19th triple-double of his regular season and postseason career. The Celtics have won 18 of those 19 games. Moreover, Rondo now has double-digit assists in 19 consecutive games, the longest streak since John Stockton’s 29 straight games in 1992. In addition, the Celtics have won 19 games since the All-Star break, the most of any NBA team. They are also on a 4-game winning streak, tied for the best streak in the league coming into Thursday’s games.
Another Rondo anomaly is his achievement of at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and 20 assists. In the last 10 seasons, he is the only player to have that line. On Wednesday vs. the Hawks, he did it for the 4th time in his regular season career. Rondo is the first player to go for at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and 20 assists in a game since Jamaal Tinsley did it for the Pacers on November 22, 2001. In the 2011 playoffs, Rondo went for 10/10/20, too. His Game 3 performance in New York of 15 points, 11 rebounds and 20 assists was the first 10/10/20 in a playoff game since Magic Johnson in 1991.
The Celtics’ successes do not end with Rondo. Boston also commands the NBA’s best current streaks in outshooting their opponent. The Celtics have shot a higher FG% than their opponent in 15 straight games, the longest streak for the franchise since 1992. They are only one game away from tying the best streak this season, the Heat’s 16 straight games. Furthermore, The Celtics have shot a higher 3P% than their opponent in 8 consecutive games, also only one game away from tying the league’s longest streak this season by the Magic (9 games).
Boston has been shooting the lights out recently, including the 60.6% show that they put on in Miami on Tuesday and a 58.8%-performance vs. the 76ers on Sunday. The Celtics became the first team to shoot that well in consecutive games in 2 years. Although the Celtics only shot 41.6% on Wednesday, they once again held their opponent to a worse percentage. In the first game of the back-to-back vs. the Heat, the Celtics offense helped out the team’s defense. However, in the second game, the defense and rebounding did the job. On Wednesday, the Celtics outrebounded their opponent by a season-high 17. While the Celtics have been a very poor rebounding team in 2011-12, they have made up for it with their shooting and defense. The Celtics will need to keep going with the aforementioned streaks in order to succeed.