BOSTON (CBS) – The Celtics snapped a four-game losing streak on Sunday with a 96-89 win over the Orlando Magic.
While a win was nice, it could be a costly one for the future. That’s the take from those enamored in “tank talk,” including 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show.
With the win, the Celtics go from having the second worst record in the NBA to the fifth worst. They trail the Milwaukee Bucks (who will likely finish with the worst record in the NBA), Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings.
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Rajon Rondo looked as though he was back to his old self, scoring 19 points to go with 10 assists and six rebounds. If Rondo has in fact knocked off all the lingering rust from his year away from the game, Jones says the Celtics’ quest for the best possible draft pick could be in trouble.
“This is a big week-plus for the Celtics,” said Jones. “If (Rondo is) back to that guy, the guy that will cost you losses against other bad teams and cost you the standings in the lottery, that could be an issue for the Celtics.”
Of their five games remaining before the All-Star break the Celtics will face three teams currently ahead of them in the tank rank, with games in Philadelphia and Milwaukee and the Kings coming to Boston on Friday night.
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That gives the Celtics a good opportunity to fall further in the standings, but it may get interesting when they face teams with the same intentions as they have.
“January was textbook, it was what they were looking for,” Rich Keefe said of Boston’s 2-15 record in January. “But the schedule does get easier, and you’re going to face some teams with a similar philosophy as you do. Just to clarify: we’re not saying that Brad Stevens and the players are trying to lose games, but what Ainge is putting out there on the floor, and what’s best for the long term and short term for the Celtics, is to lose.”
Jones and Keefe also discuss if the Celtics should look into disgruntled Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving: