Despite a recent run of good form entering February, the Boston Celtics have slumped to four losses in their last five games. Last night against the Chicago Bulls, without Derrick Rose, the Celtics were easily swept aside.
When you look at the Celtics season so far this year, things are actually much worse than their 15-14 record would initially imply.
The Celtics may have won 15 games, but look at the teams they have beaten: The Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, New Jersey Nets, Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Memphis Grizzlies, Charlotte Bobcats and Chicago Bulls.
Victories against the Knicks and Bulls are skewed as both teams were missing their most important piece at the time. A convincing victory over Memphis was impressive, but outside of that their only other victories of note come against the Orlando Magic. In fact, most of the teams the Celtics have beaten won't be anywhere near the playoffs.
Inevitably, things only get worse when you analyze the team's losses.
Losing on opening day to a last minute Carmelo Anthony shot wasn't too bad however since then, they have lost to teams like the New Orleans Hornets, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons. None of whom should be in the playoffs come season's close.
When they have faced off against playoff caliber teams, the Celtics have for the most part surrendered with ease.
The Miami Heat got the ball rolling with an eight point home victory before the Indiana Pacers beat the team by 13 points in Boston. The Oklahoma City Thunder were one point short of a double digit victory in Boston also while the Chicago Bulls managed to win last night by nine without last years MVP.
Beating the Orlando Magic may be seen by some as good victories, however with Dwight Howard's mind elsewhere the Magic are inconsistent from night to night and don't appear to be a championship caliber team.
Paul Pierce's return to the lineup may have brought him into the top 10 as far as MVP consideration goes, however Pierce hasn't returned the Celtics to a challenger. He has simply made them good enough to beat the teams who are destined for the lottery.
If the Celtics aren't careful, they could become one of those lottery teams also. Although, maybe at this stage, that might be a good thing.Tweeting @Cianaf