Brutal schedule lies ahead for high-flying Celtics

The 11-8 Celtics are three games over .500 for the first time in the Brad Stevens era (it last happened on April 7, 2013, per play-by-play man Sean Grande).  Nearly one-fourth of the way through the season, Boston is only two games back of the Cavs for the No. 1 seed in the East:

However, things are about to get extremely tough for the C's.  Take a look at their upcoming schedule:

Tonight: @ Spurs (16-4)
Monday: @ Pelicans (5-15, but they have Anthony Davis healthy now and yesterday they beat Cleveland)
Wednesday: vs. Bulls (11-5)
Friday: vs. Golden State (20-0)
12/12 @ Hornets (10-8)
12/15 vs. Cavaliers (13-6)
12/16 @ Pistons (11-9)
12/18 vs. Hawks (13-9)

Yikes.  The only bad team in that stretch isn't actually even bad.  Boston's next eight opponents have a combined record of 99-56 (and if you ignore the Pelicans it's 94-41).  We'll know a lot more about where this ballclub stands in the Eastern Conference pecking order two-and-a-half weeks from now.

Follow Mark Vandeusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan