Despite COVID-19 chaos, Celtics surge in many league power rankings

Justin Quinn
·3 min read

While it’s hard to be excited over the excellent run the Boston Celtics have had after winning their last four games given their and the NBA’s uncertain short-term future with regard to COVID-19, the team has gotten a fair amount of love in several NBA power rankings.

Even as the same positive tests and players being held out as a precautionary measure began to limit the rotations of the Celtics, they continued their upward trajectory in the standings with wins over the Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat and Washington Wizards over the last eight days to ascend to a tie atop the East standings with the Philadelphia 76ers.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how several power rankings are assessing the Celtics.

CBS Sports - No. 2

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Here, the Celtics get their best overall ranking -- and for good reason. "It was a whirlwind week for the Celtics, who beat the Raptors and Heat before losing half their team to COVID-19 protocols, writes CBS Sports' Colin Ward-Henninger. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown managed to power the depleted roster to victory over the Wizards before Sunday's game against the Heat was postponed," he added, noting Boston is "one of the hottest teams in the NBA" after winning six of its last seven.

ESPN - No. 6

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's Tim Bontemps reflects a similar sentiment -- even if their rankings are somewhat less bullish on the team -- noting the "week started out great for Boston". Like many around the NBA ecosphere, however, the analyst felt obligated to couch the success in some firmer, more somber footing. "(All) of the good feelings from four straight wins -- and Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown playing at an All-NBA level -- went away as the team faces half its roster being sidelined," he observed.

Rookie Wire - No. 4

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Our sister site holds the Celtics in pretty high regard at fourth overall in the league, with editor Cody Taylor noting Boston managed a win on Friday despite being down to nine players. As with many, for the Rookie Wire chief, the looming issue of the pandemic was also an inextricable phenomena though. "The Celtics had just eight players available to play on Sunday versus the Heat prior to the postponement, so the upcoming week should get quite interesting," he noted -- indeed.

Hoops Habit - No. 4

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Hoops Habit's Corey Rausch believes Boston is among the NBA's elite at this moment of the season, noting the team kept its ship in order regardless of "who has been in and out of the lineup." "Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have taken turns being the leading scorer but both have been dominant in their own right and have made it so that the Celtics can weather the storm while the rest of the team gets healthy," he wrote. The question on all our minds is just how long -- and severe -- that storm may end up being.

NBC Sports Boston - No. 6

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, we turn to the hometown station that has covered and broadcast all of those recent wins, NBC Boston Sports and Darren Hartwell. You'll get no cries of favoritism here as they assess the Celtics as harshly as anyone at sixth overall, but Hartwell isn't down on the hometown team by any measure either. "Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown officially deserve consideration among the best duos in the NBA," he opines. "Rookie Payton Pritchard (aka "Fast PP" aka "P-Rabbit" aka "8 Mile") has been a revelation." [jwplayer 7lcBNz85] [lawrence-related id=45402,45400,45398,45395] [listicle id=45407]

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