Posted by RUMcHale
The Celtics' last stand was in 2009, when they were good enough to compete: 2nd seed in the east. Last year, when they announced they couldn't get mentally up for the regular season, that's the end of it.
"But they got within 4 points of winning the championship", you say?
That was a fluke. 4th seed or lower usually don't do well in the playoffs. Witness since the Magic/Bird era, the Celtics were only the 4th such team (a 4th seed or lower, and have to play two series without the HCA in the conference) making the finals:
How many teams were able to win three series WITHOUT the HCA? only the first three teams on this list.
Is it possible for the Celtics to tank in the regular season and flip it on in the playoffs? Everything is possible, but the odds are extremely against it.
Then is it possible for the Celtics to have a great regular season? finishing as top or #2 seed, while having HCA in the finals? Very unlikely, the age of the big three will prevent it.
So, Celtic fans, you better pray for another fluky occurrence in the upcoming playoffs. Having followed the NBA for decades, I won't count on it.