The Boston Celtics have been on a miracle run since losing Rajon Rondo to a torn ACL, winning six straight games. Such recent success has provoked fan and pundit banter about the team being "better off" without the All-Star point guard.
Clearly, such statements are ludicrous, as any team would profit from a player averaging 13.7 PPG, 11.1 APG, and 5.6 RPG.
So why are the C's striking gold? One could certainly downplay their victory over the perennially-unimpressive Toronto Raptors, who sit in the basement of the Atlantic division with a 17-32 record. And the listless Sacramento Kings (17-33) and Orlando Magic (14-35) never posed much of a threat either.
That said, Boston's hot streak started against the defending champion Miami Heat, before the squad even realized Rondo would be out for the season.
And, reeling or not, beating a Lakers squad by 20 without Rajon Rondo is an impressive feat. Their teamwork, camaraderie and collective momentum have all picked up, making them the talk of the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics may not be a better team without Rondo, but they are certainly playing better as a team since he went down. The following are the main reasons for their current six-game winning streak.