Currently sitting in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with a 9-8 record, Boston trails the New York Knicks by 3.5 games for first place. Coming off two loses last week against the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, the Celtics' conference record has now dropped below .500 this season (6-7). In addition, the team has only won one game against division rivals (1-3).
At SB Nation, curator Seth Rosenthal dropped the team three spots from last week's poll to No. 13 overall. Citing the team's inability to establish a presence around the net, Rosenthal also mentions that the team is weakened without Rajon Rondo in the lineup:
The Celtics as is have been consistently overpowered around the basket. The Celtics with Rajon Rondo out are just kinda yucky (and capable of blowing 17-0 leads, it seems), though they did defend well versus the Blazers and Jeff Green's mini-emergence has been encouraging. Avery Bradley should be back soon, which is great, but would be greater if he were a foot taller.
Marc Stein at ESPN.com also moved the team down three spots from last week to No. 13 overall, while John Schuhmann only moved the team down one position to No. 11 overall at NBA.com. Sam Amico at FoxSports.com gave the team its highest ranking of the week by leaving them at No. 10 overall.