With all the excitement over the unveiling of the NCAA Bracket last night, the Celtics' upcoming trip to Texas has been overlooked; the Cs play three play-off contenders in four nights: the San Antonio Spurs tonight, followed by a trip to Houston to face the red-hot Rockets (Tues), and then on to Dallas (Thurs), to face the revamped Mavs. (The Celtics also stop in New Orleans on Saturday night at the tail-end of the road trip.)
The Western Conference is, as Dan Rather might remark, as tight as a tick, with just 4 losses separating the top team (Houston at 46-20) from the #8 and final play-off team (currently Golden State, at 41-24; Denver is two losses back at 40-26).
The Cs would do well to split the trip (they won Saturday night in Milwaukee, 99-77), especially because guard Ray Allen remains day-to-day (he apparently will not play tonight against the Spurs). After being man-handled at home Friday night against the Utah Jazz (44-24, #4 in West), the Cs need to show that they can compete against the elite Western teams. The Jazz game was an especially long night for Rajon Rondo, who was torched for 32 points by Deron Williams.
While Boston will not get a lot of attention in a week that is dominated by the NCAA Opening Rounds, the fact that the NBA had the Celtics scheduled to make their single trip to Texas this week reminds us all how far the Cs have come since last summer.