Celtics eliminated from playoff contention; miss playoffs for first time since 2006-07

It's amazing, but despite entering tonight's game at 23-50, the Celtics were still mathematically alive for a post-season spot.

But then the Hawks beat the Sixers to "improve" to 32-41, and the Bulls beat the Celtics, dropping the Cs to 23-51. That means that for the first time since 2006-07, the Celtics will not be playing in the NBA's second season.

This is not something that comes to a surprise to anyone. After all, Vegas pegged the Celtics for 29 wins before the season, and most fans would have been surprised with anything above 35 or so. Instead the Cs look destined for anywhere between 25-27, mildly surprising considering their 12-14 start, but overall in line with pre-season expectations.

There are eight games left this season (two each vs Philly and Washington, and one apiece vs Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland and Detroit) and the only thing left on the line is draft lottery positioning. The Celtics will realistically finish somewhere between fourth and seventh in the tank rank, opening them up to pick anywhere from first to tenth in June's draft.

But no matter where they pick, lets hope this is the last time we have to root against the Celtics for a really long time. Here's to hoping that next season starts another long string of playoff runs.

Follow Mike on twitter - Mike_Dyer13

For more of my articles, click here