The Celtics are a long shot.
Recent Vegas odds have them listed at 150/1 to win the NBA title. However, those are the same odds as the Pelicans out West (who put a bit of scare into the Warriors yesterday), and better odds than the Nets (200/1) or Bucks (250/1). Boston's expected chances to beat the Cavaliers aren't a whole lot better:
ESPN’s Basketball Power Index gives Cavs an 89% chance to win series. Its prediction on series length: pic.twitter.com/HGeUabFA0p
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) April 16, 2015
But, who ever thought this team would win 40 games in the first place? The fact that this club got to within one game of .500 is remarkable in itself. After a 16-30 (.348) start, Boston went 24-12 (.667) the rest of the way.
Celtics close the regular season with 6-game winning streak overall, 7 in a row on the road, & 8 straight on the 2nd night of back-to-backs
— CelticsLife.com (@CelticsLife) April 16, 2015
The 2014-15 Brad Stevens Celtics finished with just one fewer win (and the same No. 7 seed in the East) than the final edition of the Doc Rivers-Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett C's did two years ago.
Boston even managed to end the regular season with a positive scoring differential, outscoring its opponents by an average of 0.2 points per game. The Celtics were 25-57 last year. I predicted they'd have the same record again this season (other ESPN Boston panelists had similar opinions).
This Celtics club has already defied the odds just to get where it is now. Who's to say it can't continue to do so?
Evan Turner: "We have nothing to lose, really. We're playing with house money."
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) April 17, 2015
Playoff experience: #celtics entire team, 141 games. LeBron James: 158 games.
— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) April 15, 2015
Playoff experience? Who needs it:
Enjoyed this quote from Brad Stevens on playoff experience: pic.twitter.com/j5i0SrllkY
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) April 18, 2015
As Stevens says, being young and unaware could have an upside. After all, LeBron James was a little too cognizant of how big a deal his return to Cleveland was. Following his ridiculous "biggest sporting event ever" line, James choked mightily in the season opener.
Maybe we can hope for a similar showing by LeBron in his first postseason game back with the Cavs? The last time James took the floor in the playoffs as a Cavalier, things didn't go very well for him either.
Follow Mark Vandeusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan Mark Van Deusen 4/19/2015 10:30:00 AM Tweet Edit