The Golden State Warriors may be rolling along as expected, but entering the All-Star break no NBA team — including Curry, Durant and Co. — were riding a bigger wave than Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics. The Celtics aren’t a complete surprise. Vegas oddsmakers ranked the Celtics #4 in the NBA coming into the season. But with Isaiah Thomas scoring 20-plus points in 40 straight games (even Larry Bird never did that) these Celtics are rising to challenge the defending NBA champion Cavaliers for the top of Eastern Conference standings — and home court advantage in the playoffs.
There’s even more good news for Celtic fans — the return of defensive phenom Avery Bradley, conceivably giving Isaiah Thomas even more room to work on both ends of the floor. Bradley, who injured his Achilles, is expected back February 24 according to a report in the Boston Globe. Despite dropping a one-pointer to the Bulls just before the All-Star break, the Celtics matched Cleveland in going 8-2 over their last ten games. (Only team that did better was the also-surging Washington Wizards led by Thomas’s equal in dynamism, John Wall.) Boston is just 3 games back of Cleveland, who suffered the loss of All-Star forward Kevin Love just before the break.