Celtics Rank With Spurs, Raptors In ESPN’s Tiers Of NBA Teams For 2016-17

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There’s no doubt expectations are high this season for the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics’ over/under for regular-season wins is 52.5, and they have the fourth-best odds to win the NBA Finals at +1,800, according to Bovada. The only teams Bovada projects to win more games than the C’s are the Warriors, Cavaliers, Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers, and only Golden State, Cleveland and San Antonio have better odds to win the championship.

And in the latest sign that Boston is projected to be a real contender this season, ESPN’s Zach Lowe has the Celtics ranked with the Spurs and Toronto Raptors as the “Best of the Rest,” trailing only the Warriors, Cavaliers and Clippers.

Lowe did offer some potential pitfalls for the Celtics, though. Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley’s team-friendly deals both are up after the 2017-18 season, so they have two seasons to live up to those high expectations and make that “Great Theoretical Celtics Megatrade” before both players hit the market. Lowe also called Bradley a “sneaky interesting trade piece.”

But that all only could happen if things don’t go according to plan, which currently involves Boston being in the running for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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