It seems nothing can stand in the way of the Boston Celtics winning games these days. After winning in thrilling fashion in triple overtime against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night, the Celtics now have mustered seven straight wins, the longest streak in the NBA. Despite losing starters Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger for the season due to injuries, the Celtics are the hottest team in the league, led by their captain Paul Pierce.
The Celtics should have won in regulation against the Nuggets, who entered the game with a league-high nine straight wins, but a blown call by the officials gave the ball to Denver with five seconds remaining and Ty Lawson promptly tied the score and sent the game into overtime. The Celtics appeared done when they trailed by three points with under 10 seconds remaining in double overtime but Paul Pierce was able to hit a contested fade-away three-pointer to put the game into a third overtime, where the Celtics seized the win.
Paul Pierce continues to put up remarkable statistics during the Celtics winning streak. Pierce has recorded two triple doubles in the streak, including Sunday night’s 27 point, 14 rebound, 14 assist performance in a grueling 54 minutes of playing time. With Sullinger sidelined for the year with back problems, Pierce has taken it upon himself to rebound for the Celtics. In the seven game win streak, Pierce has recorded double-digits in rebounding five times and has posted 8.5 rebounds per game in the last five contests.
With Rondo out for the year to repair a partially torn ACL, Pierce has had to play point-forward often, especially in late game situations. He has made a conscious effort to get his teammates involved and the results have paid off. Pierce is arguably the clutchest player in the NBA as he can always be counted on to hit a big shot. But what makes Pierce special is his ability to trust his teammates. In tonight’s game, we saw Pierce dish it out the likes of Jeff Green, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry, who all connected on clutch shots in the win. But over the course of the win streak, Pierce has looked to pass to all options, including the likes of Leandro Barbosa, Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley.
The Celtics have won seven games in a row by exemplifying great team effort in their 10 -man rotation. The Celtics are playing their best basketball of the year, looking impressive on both sides of the ball. The success of the C’s can be largely attributed to Pierce because he is doing just about everything for this team now as he is hitting the clutch shots, making the right passes to his teammates in the waning moments of the games and corralling rebounds in traffic over bigger bodied players. With Pierce playing this well, there is no telling how many more wins the Celtics can pull off. But what is for certain is that Pierce’s amazing play these past seven games has ended any possibility of the team trading away this Celtics legend and the longest tenured athlete in Boston.