Wow… How about those Boston Celtics! Coming off four straight wins, and getting a W in seven of their last ten games, I think it’s very safe to say that our Celtics are the hottest team in the East! And in the midst of a heated playoff battle with the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat, there’s never been a better time for Boston to catch fire.
Near the end of a season that was written off before it started, the Celtics are playing their absolute best basketball and staking their case that they’re a true playoff contender. While all these wins of late have been big, the last two have been particularly huge as they’ve come against the 2-seed Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Celtics were huge underdogs going into an away game against the Lebron James led Cavs this past Friday, but managed to grind out a tough 9-point win behind Marcus Smart‘s 19 points.
Apr 10, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) shoots against Cleveland Cavaliers center Timofey Mozgov (20) and forward LeBron James (23) in the first quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
But no amount of points scored, rebounds grabbed, or assists made by any player has contributed to this exciting, and surprising, Celtics playoff run as much as the Coach of The Year worthy job done by Brad Stevens.
The Celtics players have over-performed this year for sure, but why? Again, refer back to the man leading the team, as Stevens has taken this group of misfits who just so happened to all land on the same roster together in the aftermath of a Danny Ainge trading spree and transformed them into a TEAM who believes in the coach, themselves, and each other.
Yes, Stevens has been the X-factor of the C’s playoff push, but I can’t just pretend the players have nothing to do with it. Rookie Marcus Smart has been playing great lately, being an extremely irritating lock down perimeter defender and has even shown flashes of good offensive talent.
Isaiah Thomas has shown out lately as well, and has routinely scored 20+. Boston’s bigs have also been impressive during this crucial stretch, playing hard on D and doing a great job of limiting opponent’s points in the paint.
Apr 12, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers center Timofey Mozgov (20) in the second half at TD Garden. The Celtics defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 117-78. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
All in all, it’s been a very solid team performance that’s put Boston in its playoff position, along with superb coaching and simply a winning attitude on the court and in the locker room. These Celtics have truly gelled and came into their own at the perfect time, and established themselves as the hottest team in the Eastern Conference after taking down top East teams in Toronto and Cleveland. The C’s remaining schedule includes another game against the Raptors in Boston, then an away game in Milwaukee against the Bucks.
If the Celtics can retain the intensity and effort levels displayed in their recent performances, they are very capable of beating a Toronto team who most likely be resting its starters and a bad Bucks team. If it all plays out perfectly, our C’s will be riding into the playoffs on the back of a six-game winning streak and a true chance to shake things up in the first round.
Boston will more than likely face either the Cavalierss, Raptors, or Hawks in the first round, all tough teams for sure. But I would be willing to bet they give whoever they face a true challenge and an upset is very possible. Keep it coming Boston!
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