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MMPG: Team of the Weak

Boston Celtics

Hey, Paul. Remember the good old days, back in 2008. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

The Los Angeles Clippers have lost 11 games in a row, the longest current losing streak in the league. In Clipper Land, 11-game losing streaks mean all is right in the world. But, when the defending champions go on a four-game losing streak and get demolished by a one-man wrecking crew on national television, that can turn some heads.

The Boston Celtics (30-9) rediscovered their winning ways on Sunday, with a 94-88 win against the Toronto Raptors. But the win didn't do enough to fix the damage that had been done earlier the week, when the Celtics stumbled against Charlotte, Houston and Cleveland. Those losses, combined with an earlier loss to the New York Knicks, dropped the Celtics to third in the Eastern Conference behind the Cavaliers and Orlando Magic.

After starting the season 27-2, the Celtics have since gone 3-7 in their past 10 games. The rough stretch can be blamed on fatigue, hubris, a lack of depth and possibly the cloud of Stephon Marbury, whom the Celtics are rumored to have interest in acquiring when and if he can ever negotiate a buyout from the Knicks. The Celtics' desire to add Marbury hints at the inexperience and lack of production from a second unit that has been exposed in recent weeks.

Kevin Garnett's hard-mashing intensity pushed the Celtics all of last season. But keeping that foot pressed to the peddle may have worn down a team that played 109 regular season and playoff games last season and has yet to replace departed veteran contributors James Posey and P.J. Brown. In order to repeat as champs, the Celtics will have to find some help to regain home-court advantage in a top-heavy Eastern Conference. They don't want a Game 7 in LeBron James's house.

By Michael Lee  |  January 12, 2009; 10:13 AM ET
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