With 22 wins and just four losses, the Boston Celtics have the best record in the NBA. After losing their first two games – and Gordon Haywood to an injury — people began to write them off. But the Celtics rattled off 16 straight wins and several players have stepped up and filled their roles better than expected. Kyrie Irving has been the leader of the pack, averaging about 24 points per game and taking over as the Celtics “go to” man every night. His partner in the back court, Jaylen Brown, has been terrific in his second year in the NBA. Brown has found his stroke from beyond the arc and is averaging 14 a game and shooting 40 percent from 3 point. The biggest surprise is rookie Jayson Tatum. The kid is only 19 years old but looks like he’s been playing in the league for five years. He’s shooting 51 percent from 3 point range and scoring 14 points a game. He has stepped up in Hayward’s absence.
The Celtics haven’t lost to a western conference team yet and could remain the best team in the NBA. In my opinion, NBA basketball gets really good right after Christmas so we’ll see how the Celtics continue to play down the stretch of the first half of the season.