While it seems as though the online sports betting prognosticators feel as though a .500 mark over their past ten games means that the Boston Celtics are no longer the team to beat in the Eastern conference, the truth is that a brief slump in the month of
March is nothing this team is worried about.
Just a year ago it was this same Celtics’ team that limped into the postseason while looking up at the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic, but nobody remembers that after they pushed the Los Angeles Lakers to seven games in last year’s NBA Finals.
[adinserter block=”2″]The truth is that head coach Doc Rivers has been here before. With a veteran team that has been riddled by injuries all year, there is nothing wrong with slowing down the pace before the postseason gets underway. Maybe San Antonio Spurs’ head coach Greg Popovich should pay attention. After trading Glen Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder before the deadline, the Celtics are somewhat thin at the center position, and will be hurt even more if they don’t have Jermaine and Shaquille O’Neal at their best in time for the big dance.
Kevin Garnett has had pay per head injury issues of his own over the years, and while Glen “Big Baby” Davis has shown improvement over the years, he is still nowhere close to playing at the level of his All Star teammate. Rajon Rondo is a budding superstar on a team where he has all the tools to work his magic, but that’s only if veterans Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are healthy. The Celtics made sure those players over the age of 30 got the rest that they needed down the stretch last year, and it paid off for them when they got to the postseason. It will be no different this year with Allen and Pierce firing from all cylinders, especially against an improved sports betting bonus conference.
[adinserter block=”1″]Whereas last year the Celtics only really had to compete with a talented Orlando team that had lost a couple of key pieces to its Eastern conference championship team and a Cleveland unit that had Lebron James and not much else, this year the outlook is different. Boston will need to fend off a talented, young Chicago Bulls’ team that has now surpassed them for first place in the NBA standings, as well as the Magic and Miami Heat.
While only Orlando boasts the powerful big men to wear them down on the interior, any long playoff run will likely result in another finals against the two-time defending champion Lakers. Rivers and his players understand that full well, and that is why the Celtics haven’t worried despite some tough results in recent weeks. Boston will be back when the games actually begin to matter, and until they are taken out in the postseason, the Celtics are still the team to beat in the Eastern conference.