Boston recently clinched their fifth straight division title with a win over Orlando. If you have lived under a rock for the last few months, then yes, the 76ers are in the midst of tanking.
Boston had a ton of questions going into the season, questions that probably needed to be answered more than adequately for them to be successful.
The first question was probably along the lines of: “Is Jermaine O’Neal enough at center?”
And the answer is a big resounding,”NO”. O’Neal wasn’t enough, and Boston has been playing their best basketball without him. The C’s have been using an altered and/or smaller lineup with Kevin Garnett at center and Brandon Bass at the four. This has worked out beautifully because, as stated, the Celtics are playing their best basketball.
The next question was probably as follows: “Is the Celtics’ bench deep enough to be successful?”
Yes AND no. Greg Stiemsma has been a solid defensive center off the bench, and Avery Bradley has stepped up as of late, but the rest of the bench hasn’t been stellar. Keyon Dooling hasn’t been amazing, JaJuan Johnson has shown flashes but has been inconsistent like most rookies. Brandon Bass doesn’t really count because he’s starting right now. What I’m getting to is that the bench could use some help.
The third question was probably something like: “Can Rondo and the Big 3 stay healthy?”
Injuries are going to be a factor, it’s a part of the game. The Celtics to this point have spread the wealth as far as managing injuries. Because of this, the Celtics could be a dangerous playoff squad.
And lastly: “Can Boston win in the playoffs?”
Again, another yes and no. With Boston’s division title they clinch no worse than a fourth seed. Meaning they get home court advantage in at least the first round. This could be a huge advantage for the Celtics. Hypothetical situation time- let’s say Boston plays Atlanta in the first round. Boston has home court and rides their aforementioned momentum to a win in six. Then they run into a Chicago (presumably, not ruling out Philly, or Milwaukee for that matter) in the next round. If the Celtics can clamp down on Derrick Rose, well let’s just say they might get a shot at the Super Friends Miami Chapter in the Eastern Finals.
Who really knows what the Celtics will do the rest of the season, but one thing’s for sure, they’ll be one scary team in the playoffs.