Boston Celtics: Evaluating their NBA Playoffs Chances

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The Boston Celtics have officially secured the number 3 seed, with five out of eight wins inside the NBA bubble being enough to clinch an advantageous spot in the Eastern Conference bracket.

The Celtics find themselves matched up against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs, which is sure to be a sizable challenge. The 76ers find themselves 3-4 in the bubble currently, with one more game to play against the Houston Rockets before facing the Boston Celtics.

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But the big question is, how will the Boston Celtics fare in the playoffs this year? The bookmakers have the odds of a Boston Celtics championship this season at an outside chance of +1400, while the favourites Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks come in at +225 and +250 respectively.

While it’s clear that the Boston Celtics are unlikely to make it all the way to the final and take the crown, as shown by the bubble restart results, they have a very good chance of making a deep playoff run.

In terms of team stats since the NBA restart, Boston have racked up an average of 123 points per game, 46.3 rebounds per game, 24.9 assists per game, a field goal percentage of 48.3% and a three point percentage of 39.3%.

The Boston Celtics on average have been playing better since the restart, with most stat sections being better after the NBA restart, compared to the games played before the start of the bubble.

One major factor which could determine the Celtics’ playoff success is their defense. Many were concerned about the ability of Boston’s defensive structure with Al Horford making way, but Daniel Theis stepped up throughout the season and managed to make a dominant impact on the team.

This has meant that the defense has not dropped off at all after Horford’s departure which many people expected it would. The Celtics managed to finish the regular season in third place in points allowed per game and fourth overall in defensive rating, with the rating only being good enough to come in seventh with Horford in the team.

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Most teams don’t want to be labelled as having a “team carry”, but it’s undeniable the effect that Jayson Tatum has when he’s on the court. His success in the playoffs could determine how far the Celtics go, with the All-Star being a critical part of the Boston setup.

His 29 points against the Memphis Grizzlies showed that he is in a similar kind of form to February, where he was blitzing the court.

This all but shows that Tatum isn’t here to mess around but instead he’s keen on getting the Celtics as deep in the playoffs as possible.

The final strength for the Celtics which could play a big part of playoff success for all teams this season is a sense of teamwork and cooperation. With this playoff series being staged inside of the Walt Disney World Resort bubble in Orlando, this factor will be critical for teams as players find themselves away from friends and family outside of the bubble.

A team’s togetherness and bonds with one another could greatly affect how far they will go in the playoff series.

For the Boston Celtics this doesn’t seem to be an issue with Grant Williams and Kemba Walker using the time in isolation from the outside world to get to know each other, and these kinds of bonds could have an immense impact on their playoff results.

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Overall, while the Boston Celtics are long shots to win the NBA title this year, they will be expected to make a deep playoff run and possibly even challenge to make the finals.

The Celtics have their strengths and they will need to capitalise on these if they want to improve upon their performance last year when they reached the conference semifinals. 

 

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  1. John Simmons says

    Great stuff

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