Although it hasn’t exactly slowed them down, the injury bug struck again in Boston, as Leandro Barbosa became the latest in a disconcertingly long line of Celtics who will miss the remainder of the 2012-13 campaign with an injury. Will it be enough to slow the momentum the franchise has built over the course of the past few weeks, gaining traction in the Eastern Conference and improving their NBA odds?
The announcement comes on the heels of a pair of similarly unfortunate alerts, first that superstar point guard Rajon Rondo would miss the season with a knee injury of his own, and then regarding rookie big man Jared Sullinger.
Despite the setbacks, the Celtics still sit pretty on the NBA futures – a testament to the resilience that veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have displayed since things started to go south. Can the Boston gang strike one last time before the window of opportunity officially closes for the again squad?
According to Bovada’s basketball oddsmakers, the C’s have 20-1 odds of winning the NBA championship. In contrast, the Miami Heat, who Boston defeated toward the end of last month, sit first in the league with 7-4 NBA odds.
The Chicago Bulls, who await for their elite point guard to return, are listed at 16-1
With trade rumors circulating over whether or not C’s general manager Danny Ainge will blow the team up in order to retool for next season when much of their roster returns from injury, all eyes have been on elder statesmen Pierce and Garnett.
That pressure, however, has only made Boston perform even better. The Celtics are currently playoff bound, thanks largely in part to string of solid performances that have pushed them over the bubble. They may not be the safest NBA betting option in the league considering their age and health, but it wouldn’t be the first time the franchise has refused to fade into mediocrity.
Expect big things to continue in Beantown, at least so long as they have enough warm bodies to field an NBA team. While the absence of Rondo, Sullinger and now the veteran Barbosa will no doubt inconvenience this team, the sheer depth of their roster is what’s made them intriguing dark horse candidates on the basketball moneyline.
Bet on the Eastern Conference playoff picture and whether or not the Celtics can fight through adversity enough to make one last push at a championship today.
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