NBA Playoff Predictor: Boston Celtics

We’re about halfway through the NBA season, and there have been surprises for the good (Trail Blazers) and the bad (Nets). I’m going to take a look at the playoff chances for each team in the NBA that has a decent opportunity, starting with the Eastern Conference. I’ll be giving each team a percentage on what we think their chances are at this point of the season, and undoubtedly, at least one team will make me look stupid.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics are 14-26 at this point, and it’s pretty much gone as expected thus far. They traded Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn and lost Doc Rivers to the Clippers. Brad Stevens has the reins now, but he’s had to do so without Rajon Rondo. The team leader will be coming back into the starting lineup on Friday, and could make all the difference in this team that sorely needs a semblance of leadership on the court.

*Statistical Showdown*

  • 4-10 vs. teams .500 and above
  • 26th in PPG
  • 10th in points allowed
  • 2-8 in last 10 games
  • Kris Humphries is best player by Win Shares, at .171 per 48 min.
  • Hollinger playoff odds: 23.9%

Verdict: I think the Celtics are better than their record, and should be getting out of this rut they’ve been in when Rondo returns on Friday. They’ll want to find a way to get both Rondo and Avery Bradley plenty of minutes. They’re better than a few of the teams ahead of them in the East and have the fifth easiest remaining schedule in the NBA. I’ll put them at a 40% chance to make the playoffs in an extremely weak Eastern Conference.