NBA: 3 dark horse teams that could make a deep playoff run

NBA Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)
NBA Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports) /
3 of 4
Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics head coach (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) /

Boston Celtics (37-27) – currently on a one-game win streak

The Boston Celtics are a team that has been to the Conference Finals two times in the last five years. No question they are trying to get over that hump. It’s looking like it won’t be any easier this year as well, as the East is fairly stacked in my opinion. I think there are at least six to seven legit contenders and Boston is one of them.

A lethal duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown has helped fuel the Celtics success they have had this season. Tatum averages 25.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, while Brown scores 23.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Both are excellent passers as well and play for the team and not themselves. They know what it feels like to make it deep in the playoffs, and their goal is to get back to the Conference Finals and earn a ticket to the NBA Finals.

Boston is another team loaded with a lot of role players who are unselfish and want to win more than anything. They have a lot of depth on that roster. Marcus Smart is one of those guys who jumps out to you. He does a lot of things that don’t show up in the stat sheet at the end of the game, but they do contribute to team success.

Jayson Tatum and the Celtics have 18 regular-season games left. They also have the fourth hardest remaining schedule left in the NBA. Can the Celtics stay top six to avoid the play-in tournament, or could they possibly jump even higher only being five games back from the first-place Miami Heat?