I'm done trying to figure this thing out. I really, truly don't care if this is a better team without Rondo or if they just happen to be playing better without him. Either way, what they are doing right now is working, and working well.

Earlier this year I (melodramatically) said that a similar 6 game win streak (on the heels of Avery Bradley's return) "saved the season." Well, by that logic, this 7 game streak (on the heels of losing Rondo and then losing Sullinger) might very well have saved the team from detonation.

Two weeks ago, we were staring at the 8 seed and wondering if Ainge would just decide to set the charges and give the all-clear to the demolition crew. Then Rondo went down and it almost seemed inevitable, ...for about half an hour. Then the Heat win happened. Fast forward to now and where are we? Well, we're in the 7th seed and just a half game out of the 6 seed (behind an Atlanta team that is shopping Josh Smith).

Frankly, I'm not sure how much it matters what seed the Celtics end up with anyway. Do you think any team wants to face Boston in the playoffs? True, some of Rondo's greatest moments have been in the playoffs and we'll miss that element. But as last night and the last 2 weeks should remind us, this team still has two Hall of Famers with enormous amounts of pride. They know full well that this could be their last ride together (man, how many times have I used that line over the years and every time it has seemed perfectly legit).

You never count out a team that plays championship defense and Kevin Garnett is not going to allow this team to give anything less. You can likewise never count out any team featuring Paul Pierce, regardless of how far the chips may be down. The team will have to rely more heavily on those two down the stretch and into the playoffs, so fatigue will be a concern.