The question is, what do the points even mean? There's no mention of how they are calculated. One thing I can say for sure, ESPN didn't ask 278 (the total number of points listed) people "Who's going to win the East?" and have three of them choose the Celtics.
If that was the case, those three people would have no business working there, because no intelligent basketball mind would actually pick Boston to win the conference this year. They say it's a panel of "more than 200 members who collectively possess vast NBA experience, knowledge and perspective."
Obviously they asked the panelists to rank more than one candidate, but what we don't know is how many. Two seems unlikely, three is probable. Could the C's have gotten three votes to finish third? Definitely a possibility.
Regardless, a point-based poll is pretty silly without an explanation of the scoring system. So if any bigwigs at ESPN are reading this, I'd love to see a full breakdown of the numbers, and it'd give your rankings a lot more meaning if you published where they came from.