The Boston Celtics are ranked No. 1 in ESPN’s new NBA power rankings less than a week after beating the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
It’s a worthy spot for the C’s, who sit atop the league standings with a 15-2 record and a 15-game win streak.
Here’s what ESPN has to say about the Celtics and their No. 1 spot in this week’s rankings.
“The Celtics have won 15 straight games and have done it with defense. During the streak, they’ve allowed All-Stars from last season to combine for a 14.7 player efficiency rating, which is worse than the average NBA player (15.0). Perhaps even more remarkable: Saturday was the first of eight straight games in which the Celtics don’t face any All-Star from last season, the second-longest stretch by any team this season. Boston has a chance to keep its run rolling.”
Defense and rebounding have been key to the Celtics’ surge. Their 95.9 defensive rating is the best in the league, and they rank second in rebounding percentage (which was a major weakness last season).
Several of the team’s talented young players, including Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier, have made tremendous contributions at both ends of the floor. Brown and Tatum have started every game for the Celtics despite being 21 and 19 years old, respectively.
And, of course, Brad Stevens already is one of the top three coaches in the league, and he’s getting close to max production from many of his players.
The Warriors probably will overtake the Celtics in these rankings at some point, but there’s no question Boston deserves its spot on top after a remarkable start to the campaign.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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