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2015 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: First Round

By on April 18, 2015 at 1:46pm
Boston made it back to the postseason despite being in a rebuilding season; can they keep it going again old foe LeBron James and the Cavs? (wrestlezone.com) Boston made it back to the postseason despite being in a rebuilding season; can they keep it going again old foe LeBron James and the Cavs? (wrestlezone.com)

With the playoffs underway, get ready for some great games. The Celtics barged their way in despite not being finished rebuilding. The Spurs dropped several seeds with a final day loss. Some very potent teams are getting ready to face off, so we’re here to give you our annual predictions on how things will turn out.

Our panel is largely in agreement as to who will advance, with one non-unanimous series winner per conference. It was a little trickier to decide which series would be struggles and which would be breezes, with only one unanimous choice there.

As usual, picking the winner of a series is worth two points, while guessing how many games a series will last is worth one point.

So there you have it. Complete picks are below; come back after the first round is complete to see the results. Continue reading 2015 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: First Round »

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"Pro Wrestling," NES

The NBA season is over, and it was a heck of a season. Much was decided on the final day, including both #8 seeds. Seeding itself was a big ado on that day, as San Antonio’s loss pushed them back all the way to #6 instead of being #2. As usual, the East was far weaker than the West, though there was still seed jockeying to be done there as well.

Stellar and unexpected seasons from the Hawks and Warriors helped shake up our standings, minimizing the points to be won from picking division winners. For the most part, it made it harder to get the ever valuable points from guessing seeds exactly right.

But in the midst off all the chaos, a winner has emerged from our panel. Since everyone is wondering who it is, the winner of the 2014-2015 NBA Pick ‘Em is.. Continue reading 2014-2015 NBA Expert Picks Results »

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The possibility of the Celtics making the playoffs as a potential seventh-seed was a mere pipe dream at the start of the season.  Celtics fans were looking at draft boards and comparing college prospects as the Celtics were seemingly destined to fall to the lottery for the second year in a row.  As it stands, if the Nets lose tonight, they’re in.  Yet the season did not transpire as expected, and the catalyst for this unforeseen success was addition by subtraction.  At the start of the year, the two best players on the 2014-2015 Celtics were undeniably Jeff Green and Rajon Rondo.  Yet, it wasn’t until after they were traded that this Celtics team really hit their stride.  The offense became less stagnant, the defense became more formidable, and perhaps most of all, the players look like they’re having more fun.  They have all completely bought into Brad Stevens system.  The acquisition of Isaiah Thomas was a turning point, yet, the burden of the credit deserves to go to Brad Stevens.

Brad Stevens has established himself as the future of Celtics basketball.  While his 6-year mega deal brought him here, it wasn’t until these past couple months that Celtics Nation, in addition to Boston sports media, really bought into the 38-year old coach. While he is has gained his favor with the city of Boston, another Bruins coach has not. Continue reading The Magic Number is One for the Celtics »

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The Celtics have the best playoff odds of the four teams they're battling, but who will they face in round 1?

After their win against the Pistons, the Celtics keep inching towards a playoff spot. The Green currently sit in seventh place in the East with four games to go, by virtue of holding the tiebreaker over Brooklyn. Their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is four (any combination of Boston wins and Indiana/Miami losses). There is still a small chance that the Celtics could get up as high as the six seed, but will most likely finish as either seventh or eighth in the Eastern Conference. Therefore that leaves three teams as possible first round playoff opponents: Atlanta, Cleveland or Toronto.

Possible Match-Up: #1 Atlanta Hawks vs #8 Boston Celtics

Role reversal from the 2008 playoffs! Back then the Celtics had the number one seed and the Hawks had just clawed and scratched their way into the playoffs with a 37-45 record (a possible record for this year’s Celtics), and guess what? The Hawks were able to push the eventual champion Celtics all the way to seven games in an exciting first round. Now, I’m not saying that just because the tables are turned that Boston could do that this year. That series in 2008 was a bit of an odd one with the Celtics unable to perform on the road in the playoffs. Every game in Boston was completely one sided where the games in Atlanta were close match-ups that the soon-to-be champs just couldn’t close out. The Celtics are 1-2 against the Hawks this year, but if they met in the playoffs it would be a completely different Celtics team. Continue reading Who Would You Rather See the Celtics Play in the Playoffs? »

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Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Danny Ainge just couldn’t forgive Shavlik Randolph for elbowing Kelly Olynyk in the face.  In reality, with Jared Sullinger back, there was simply no need for the bench-warming Randolph to take up a roster spot better served for developing players.

Chris Babb, who played briefly with the Celtics last season (including two summer league stints with the C’s), was assigned to the D-league immediately upon signing today.  Chris Babb, an Iowa State alumnus, is a certified 3-and-D enforcer, with a propensity to hit big shots at the D-League level.  Babb has dominated in the D-League, shooting 37.5% from 3, while asserting himself as a pesky defender, capable of guarding players at the two and three. While his addition to the team provides depth to wings, his acquisition is actually a more for off-season positioning. While he technically signed a multi-year deal, his non-guaranteed contract – according to the enigma that is the NBA Salary Cap rules – functions as if it is guaranteed in NBA trades in order to match salaries. Continue reading Celtics Release Shavlik Randolph, Sign Chris Babb, Ignite Trade Rumors »

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Celtics a Playoff Threat?

April 3, 2015 at 6:10pm in Celtics, Featured, Opinion
Avery Bradley may have been making that face for hitting the shot to put the Celtics up three with seven seconds left, but he may as well have been wondering why one Celtic fan would stab another in a big win Wednesday night. (Boston Globe)

With seven games left on the Boston Celtics schedule, they sit with a 34-41 record, and are tied with the Miami Heat for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, (the C’s are placed ninth due to tiebreakers). The Celts are also only a 0.5 game behind the seventh seeded Brooklyn Nets, and are three games behind the sixth seeded Milwaukee Bucks. When the dust settles, I believe the C’s are going to find themselves in the NBA Playoffs. The question is do they pose a threat to upset one of the upper echelon teams in the east?

I am not going to be a Celtics pessimist, but the answer to that question is no. Boston will most likely be the seventh or eighth seed if they are a part of the playoff picture, and that means they will be matched up against the Atlanta Hawks or Cleveland Cavaliers. As it stands now, most experts pick the Cavs to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals, despite Atlanta being 7.5 games ahead of Cleveland in the standings. I think whether the Celts are matched up against the Hawks or Cavs, the C’s will be eliminated in five or six games. I now do think it is more beneficial for Boston to make the playoffs rather than be back in the lottery. Continue reading Celtics a Playoff Threat? »

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Can Jared Sullinger come back and help the Celtics make the playoffs?

The Celtics received some very surprising and very good news Friday afternoon. It’s been exactly 50 days since Jared Sullinger last played in a game for Boston, but it looks like that number has a chance to stop there as early as Friday night against the Bucks.

Sullinger’s last game came in what might be the turning point of the season, the 89-88 upset win over Atlanta on the final day before the All-Star break. Shortly before games were set to start back up again for the unofficial second half of the season, Sullinger was ruled out indefinitely due to a foot injury. A day or two later, Sullinger was labeled done for the season thanks to a stress fracture in his foot. The Celtics were pretty devastated. They had just acquired Isaiah Thomas from Phoenix and had already traded away their two best players in Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green. Sullinger had been the team’s leading scorer, rebounder, and best player after the departures of Rondo and Green.

The team announced Friday that Sullinger is completely healed and cleared to play immediately. Continue reading Jared Sullinger No Longer Out for Season »

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