The NBA regular season has come to a close, and the Boston Celtics will march into the playoffs as the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed.
The Celtics put together a strong regular-season campaign, going 53-29 and narrowly edging out the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers for the top spot in the East.
This will be Boston’s third consecutive trip to the postseason. The C’s were handily swept by the Cavaliers in the first round in 2015 and suffered another disappointing first-round exit to the Atlanta Hawks last year.
Boston doesn’t feature a superstar-laden lineup, as guard Marcus Smart attested to in his recent piece for The Players’ Tribune.
“On paper,” Smart writes, “our team kind of looks like — we joke as a team about this kind of thing all the time — a lineup you’d make if you didn’t know what you were doing in your NBA fantasy draft.”
But despite the lack of household names, Smart believes the Celtics’ chemistry and unity take the team to another level.
“Our team doesn’t have a roster of superstars,” he writes, “but if you add us all up, we like to think that we can be a superstar-style team. We have a group that buys into the mentality that we’re all for one and one for all.”
Smart isn’t hoping for playoff success just for the team, but also for Boston’s diehard fanbase.
“Boston: We’ve got love for you,” he writes. “We’re going to need you again. You’re the best fans in sports, so we’re going to work as hard as we possibly can to give you what you deserve.”
Thumbnail photo via Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports Images