The Boston Celtics will compete in the NBA playoffs, but what are fans expecting from that run?
The Athletic offered some answers Thursday when it published results of its Celtics fans survey, which garnered answers from around 800 readers. One of the pertinent questions sought a simple prediction: “How will the Celtics finish if the NBA holds a normal playoff?”
The Celtics were 43-21, in third place in the Eastern Conference standings when the NBA paused its 2019-20 season due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey results show the vast majority, 86 percent, of responding fans expect the team to reach at least the Eastern Conference semifinals, with answers varying from there.
Here are the numbers in greater detail, per The Athletic
– Competitive in conference finals loss: 55.4 percent
– Ousted in second round: 21.4 percent
– Crushed in Conference finals: 9.2 percent
Other answers include the C’s winning Banner No. 18, losing in the NBA Finals or being ousted in the first round didn’t garner enough votes to warrant The Athletic printing their results.
The Athletic’s Jay King and Jared Weiss took a deeper look at the numbers.
“Though the advanced numbers suggest this is the best team of the Stevens era, most Celtics fans are not convinced the team is a true title contender,” King and Weiss wrote. “A very optimistic group of believers representing 6.8 percent of voters think the team will raise another banner, but most think Boston will fall at some point before the NBA Finals.
“The Celtics’ path, which could even include a difficult first-round matchup with the 76ers, will be challenging. The mighty Bucks are the current favorites in the Eastern Conference, while the Lakers, Clippers and others loom out west. If the current standings hold, the Celtics and Raptors could meet in the second round after years of avoiding each other in the postseason. More than one-fifth of respondents believe the Celtics will fall in that round.”
If that’s the case, real life will test Celtics fans’ postseason predictions immediately.