Boston Celtics fans, did you know that your team has a legitimate chance of making the playoffs this season?
Wait, Hardwood Houdini readers!
Before you laugh and dismiss this as a joke, hear me out. Head anywhere and check out the NBA standings – here, for example – and tell me what you see. That’s right: even with their five-game losing streak, the Celtics are in third place in the woeful Atlantic Division, a mere 1.5 games back of the Toronto “No One Expects Us To Win This Thing” Raptors.
How can that be, you ask? I mean, the Celtics are the NBA equivalent of the Frankenstein monster, made up of spare parts that no one else wanted. Worse, the team’s best player is sitting on the bench, recovering from ACL surgery. This year’s version of the Boston Celtics is about as far from the model of an NBA playoff team as you can get . . .
. . . and yet, thanks to a division that is made up of some teams whose rosters are almost as big a mess as Boston’s (Philadelphia, Toronto) and teams who have been playing absolutely god-awful, underachieving basketball (New York, Brooklyn) the Celtics can play .500 basketball until Rajon Rondo returns and will probably still find themselves within reach of first place in their division.
Gah! Is everyone in this division trying to tank this year?!?
No one knows just how quickly Rondo will regain his form when he finally returns to the hardwood, but if he comes back and plays at a level anywhere near what he is capable of, could we really see the Boston Celtics fighting for the top spot in the Atlantic Division this season? Whether we want them to or not is one thing – they’ll almost certainly be a one-and-done – but players don’t like losing, and if they find themselves in the hunt, they will scratch and claw as hard as they can to take the top spot.
Let’s open the floor for a vote! As always, I’m ready to chat, so leave your thoughts below, or hit me up @theamazingMrS on Twitter!