By the end of the season, few teams will be able to say they beat the Miami Heat twice. Heck, few teams will be able to say that after the playoffs too. But the Celtics took down the Big Three for the second time, earlier this week with another impressive victory.
Since the All-Star break, no team has been hotter than the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics haven't had a losing month yet, and they're well on their way to finishing April on the same note. With less than 10 games left, Boston is looking to finish strong and hopefully enter the playoffs with home court advantage as the No. 4 or even No. 3 seed.
This will be a tough time for the players though, in the midst of five games in six nights, with little rest between games the rest of the way.
The enduring success of the Celtics has led to continued improvement on Bovada's NBA futures. They’re up to 20-1 odds of winning the NBA championship this season, and are only back of the Heat (2-1), Thunder (10-3), Bulls (15-4), Spurs (15-2) and Lakers (15-1). This is good news for the Celtics, who will only have to face at most two of those five in the playoffs.
Injured Celtics May have Impact on Final Weeks
We all know that Boston's big stars – Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett – are going to be the focus of the team and get most of the minutes, but how will the bench players complement the starters?
Mickael Pietrus may return from his concussion earlier than expected, as test results are positive. When he gets back, he'll likely take minutes away from Sasha Pavlovic, while Avery Bradley and even Ray Allen will split the time not spent on Rondo. This will be an important balance as the team needs to keep playing strong and getting wins down the stretch, but will also need to stay healthy and energized for the playoffs.
The key player to watch though going forward will be Allen. The 10-time All-Star isn't what he used to be, but is still a premier three-point shooter in the NBA and one of the Celtics' best bets if they want to lay claim to another title.
Allen is looking for yet another ring to boost an already stellar career, but with Rondo continuing to emerge as an elite talent, Allen's time with the Celtics may be coming to an end. How he handles what may be his final games in a Celtics uniform will be important and if he chooses to leave Boston after the season, we'll definitely be sad to see him go.