The Celtics’ longest winning streak of this NBA season was four straight back in early November, with the most memorable victory being a shocking win against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Coming off a Super Bowl Sunday win over the Orlando Magic, the C’s might have their best chance this season to beat that winning streak since just one opponent in the team’s next four has a record above .500.
Wednesday @ Philadelphia — 7 p.m. ET
The Philadelphia 76ers are in full tank mode. They have the second-worst point differential in the NBA and are trying to trade two of their best players, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young. The Celtics hosted the Sixers last Wednesday and lost 95-94 as a 4-point favorite on Turner’s last-second layup. Turner probably doesn’t get that easy a shot if Avery Bradley’s healthy, and Bradley missed that game. Instead, Jerryd Bayless turned out to be the guy on Turner.
Michael Carter-Williams (the 5-4 favorite at Bovada to win NBA Rookie of the Year) had 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Rajon Rondo sat that one out as it was the second game of a back-to-back set for the C’s. He had by far his best game of the season Sunday against the Magic, looking like the pre-injury Rondo with 19 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.
Friday vs. Sacramento — 7:30 p.m. ET
This is the Sacramento Kings’ only visit to Boston his season. The Kings are in a free-fall and have dropped to the worst record in the Western Conference. The seven-game losing streak that Sacramento entered the week on has coincided with the team’s best player, DeMarcus Cousins, missing the past six with an ankle injury. He returned Monday night.
Cousins is having an All-Star season, averaging 22.6 points and 11.6 rebounds, but was snubbed for the West’s reserves. The Kings have talent with Cousins, Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas, but are locks for an eighth straight losing season. Sacramento has lost five straight in Boston.
Sunday vs. Dallas — 6 p.m. ET
On Sunday the Dallas Mavericks visit the Celtics, and Bovada will offer Live Betting. The Mavericks would have the third-best record in the Eastern Conference, but they are battling for the No. 8 spot in the deep West; they are only 11-13 on the road.
Future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki is 35 but playing at an elite level, averaging 21.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in only 32.4 minutes per game. He’s an All-Star for the 12th time. Nowitzki could join Larry Bird and Steve Nash as the only two-time members of the 50-40-90 club this season: at least 50% shooting from the field, 40% from 3-point range and 90% from the free-throw line. The German is slightly below on the first two.
Monday @ Milwaukee — 8 p.m. ET
The Milwaukee Bucks are the worst team in the NBA but are 2-1 against the Celtics. The Bucks won against the Celtics in Milwaukee, 92-85 on November 30 as 2.5-point underdogs. Boston then beat the visiting Bucks on December 3 108-100 in the most recent meeting.
Milwaukee enters this week with a single victory in 2014 and seems to have already given up on big offseason free-agent signing OJ Mayo. The C’s haven’t been road favorites often but will be here: Milwaukee has the NBA’s worst overall and home ATS marks.