Boston Celtics Playoff Preview: The Most Dangerous Team In The East?

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NBA: New York Knicks at Boston Celtics
NBA: New York Knicks at Boston Celtics /

With the NBA playoffs tipping off this week, we continue our previews with looking at what’s makes the Boston Celtics a dangerous team

Never before has a special-edition T-shirt epitomized an NBA team more than the one Adidas just came up with for the Boston Celtics.

The mantra, first branded by C’s forward Jae Crowder just before the NBA Trade Deadline, was a nod to the downright remarkable team basketball the Boston Celtics have used to succeed without a true superstar on the roster. Two months later, the credo still rings true. Heading into the playoffs as one of the Eastern Conference’s biggest surprises, the C’s are also one of the biggest dark horses. 

The Celtics roster, comprised of mostly flawed parts, has come together to form one of the league’s balanced and exciting teams. Their leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas, is a 5-foot-9 point guard who has historically struggled offensively against larger opponents. Despite those struggles, Thomas has averaged a career high 22.4 PPG, lifting the Boston offense, and vaulting him to his first career All-Star Game selection.

Prior to arriving in Boston, Crowder, the team’s glue guy and rotation Swiss Army knife, had never averaged more than 17.3 minutes per game or more than 9.5 PPG. Now he plays 31.7 MPG, and averages 14.5 PPG. Jared Sullinger, the big man who has logged the most minutes for the C’s, is just 6-foot-9, and weighing in at 260 pounds, lacks a particularly athletic build. Still, Sullinger leads the team in boards with 8.5 per game, and has posted an impressive 3.5 defensive win shares.

These seemingly imperfect parts, paired with the C’s deep rotation and the stewardship of head coach Brad Stevens, have turned the Celtics into a legitimate Eastern Conference contender. In a league dominated by superstars, the Boston Celtics have found a way to succeed as their own collective one.

Next: The Skinny