Don’t Sleep on the Celtics — Again

By John Schmitt

Much like driving through a river basin, the 2012-2013 Boston Celtics have experienced many peaks and valleys. The team will hit win streaks of six and eight, then lose four straight and seven of nine. Inconsistency is the Achilles’ heel of many teams around the NBA (i.e. Atlanta Hawks in recent years) that bounce them out early in the postseason, and this years Celtics could be a candidate for the same story…

You don’t honestly believe that do you?

Over the last five NBA seasons, the Celtics have consistently been an inconsistent team. In 2008-2009, they started the year 27-2 (.931), and finished the year 62-20 (.756). In 2009-2010, they started 23-5 (.821), and finished 50-32 (.610). In 2010-2011, they started off 23-4 (.852), and finished 56-26 (.683). In 2011-2012, they started off the year 15-17 (.469), and finished 39-27 (.591). This season, they started off 14-17 (.452), and are on pace to finish around 43 wins, which would be about (.524) winning percentage

Rattling off all of these records over the past five years seems like a lot to digest, and the numbers as a whole look like they have no pattern to them whatsoever. This is my point exactly. To reiterate, this team has been consistently inconsistent for years now. All of this inconsistency means nothing because at the end of the year, this savvy, gritty Boston Celtic team proves to be one of the best post-season teams. They look great to start some seasons, limp to the finish, and get bounced out of the second round (2009 and 2011). Then they start off looking dead and washed up, finish on a tear, and go to the NBA Finals (2010) or the Eastern Conference Finals (2012). This season they look great for ten games, then unbearable to watch for the next ten. So what will this year’s team do in the playoffs?

My point is not that this year’s Boston Celtics are poised to make a deep playoff run, it’s that nobody has been able to predict what they are able to do in the postseason in years past, so how can anyone tell this year? Don’t count them in, don’t count them out; just count on them to play gritty, savvy, defensive, balanced basketball because that is something they do consistently.

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