MMPG: Team of the Week
The Boston Celtics appear to have solved most of the problems that began when the Los Angeles Lakers snapped their 19-game winning streak on Christmas. The subsequent 2-7 slide had many wondering if the Celtics had what it took to repeat as NBA champions, as they got walloped by the weak (Golden State, Charlotte) and the strong (Cleveland, Portland). But instead of causing the season to unravel, the Celtics used it as a galvanizing force.
After defeating the Dallas Mavericks 124-100 on Sunday, the Celtics are the hottest team in the NBA with eight consecutive wins. Boston bottomed out on Jan. 9 in Cleveland -- when it lost its fourth in a row -- but bounced back with two shaky wins against Toronto. Since then, the Celtics have won their past six games by an average of 19.7 points and they have the same record after 46 games (37-9) as last season.
The Celtics beat four playoff-caliber teams last week -- Phoenix, Miami, Orlando and Dallas -- and got some huge contributions from its much-maligned second unit. Eddie House made a combined 14 of 22 (63.6 percent) three-pointers in wins against Miami and Dallas, and Glen "Big Baby" Davis scored 16 points in Orlando and provided tough, physical play against Magic center Dwight Howard. Ray Allen also has been huge of late, averaging 21.4 points in the past five games.
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