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Last year, the Cleveland Cavaliers did the unthinkable as they came from 3-1 down to beat the record-breaking Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. But that was then, and this is now. Cleveland simply haven’t been up to standard for large parts of the current campaign and Boston could be set to pounce as the race for the Eastern Conference title begins to heat up.

At the time of writing, Cleveland sit atop the conference with 32 wins so far but the Celtics aren’t far behind at all. Boston have won 30 of their 48 games as of February 1st and four successive victories have helped Brad Stevens’ men maintain their spot above the Toronto Raptors and improving Washington Wizards.

Boston’s home form has always been solid but their away results have been crucial in recent months. The Celtics have won 14 of their 24 road games; the joint-best record alongside the Atlanta Hawks in the East. If Boston can maintain their away form, their run of home games down the stretch could give them an advantage ahead of the postseason.

Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder have both been on top form in recent weeks and the Celtics will need their key personalities to step up and be counted as the business end of the year draws ever closer. Thomas, a two-time NBA All-Star selectee, is Boston’s main man and he has truly raised his game for the most part of the current campaign.

In fact, the 27-year-old is averaging 29.4 points per game this season; over ten points per contest higher than his career average. But in the last month or so, he has been elite – with 34.3 points per game; an incredible statistic. When Thomas plays well, the Celtics play well and he has the capacity to carry Boston to the NBA Finals on this form.

Cleveland are still in control of the Eastern Conference but Boston are pushing and Celtics fans will be quietly confident of toppling their old rivals. At the time of writing, Boston are priced at 8/1 with Betway to win the conference and represent the East in the showpiece series – most probably against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

The Celtics are on the rise and it is only a matter of time until Boston announce themselves as serious players in the NBA. After losing in the first round of the playoffs in three of the last four years, Brad Stevens’ side may be about to secure one of the top two seeds – and their route to an 18 NBA Championship could be that little bit easier...

Staff 2/13/2017 10:15:00 AM Edit
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