The All-Star break was the wake-up call for this team, going 22-10 since the end of February. The 22 wins included multiple victories over the Miami Heat as well as wins over Atlanta, Orlando, Philadelphia, Indiana and the L.A. Clippers.
As good and experienced as this team is, however, there is no doubt there are certain weaknesses that the conference's best will attempt to exploit.
These are the five most important points of emphasis for other teams to consider in a playoff matchup against the Celtics.
Since the beginning of the Big Three era, the one major weakness of this team has been their inability to rebound the basketball.
This season the Celtics are ranked No. 30 in the league, averaging 38.7 boards per contest.
In the team's two wins over the Miami Heat in the last month, the Celtics out-rebounded the Heat 49-47 and 40-34. Their ability to control the paint against an NBA title contender was the key to both victories, as opponents have to crack down on this one major weakness this team has.
Out-rebounding the Celtics is a major step in the right direction to taking down this veteran ballclub.
Although players like Avery Bradley and Greg Stiemsma have come on strong in recent games, there is no doubt that the Celtics are thin off the bench.
The second rotation is one that opposing teams will have to take advantage of, as the majority of teams in the East boast deeper benches than that of the Celtics.
As talented as the Big Three are, it will be a short NBA playoffs for the Boston Celtics if teams look to take advantage of a thinner lineup in the second and third quarters of games.
The numbers don't lie. When Kevin Garnett puts up points, the Boston Celtics are a significantly more dangerous team offensively.
When Garnett scores at least 20 points in a game this season, the Celtics are an impressive 14-5. The last eight times Garnett has gone for at least 20 points, Boston is 7-1.
Talk about some impressive numbers for the Big Ticket.
If Boston expects to win an NBA championship, Garnett will have to be aggressive offensively. Teams will need to prepare for KG's scoring ability and contain his mid-range jumper in order to have success against the Celtics.
"Mr. Clutch" in Boston is none other than Paul Pierce, as he is the one go-to-guy down the stretch of games.
As of late he has been picking up the pace dramatically, recording 29 and 43 points in his last two outings. Both games featured shooting efforts of at least 58 percent from the floor and even a career-high, 14-assist performance in the 29-point game.
At the end of games, Pierce likes to get the ball in isolation and get to his certain spots on the floor for pull-up jumpers. Many times, teams allow Pierce to take his man one-on-one, as Pierce tends to get the better of these matchups. Throwing a second defender at Pierce when he takes the ball to the basket will be key, as it will force other Celtics to win games for this team offensively.
Slowing down Pierce is a strong strategy for opposing teams if they wish to disrupt the Celtics offense.
Cut the head off the snake, and the snake can no longer go.
As is the case in Beantown, if Rondo is not able to make an impact offensively for this team by taking the ball to the basket and finding his knock-down shooters, the Celtics will be in a world of problems this postseason.
Rondo has been red hot as of late, totaling 23 consecutive games with at least 10-plus assists—the most since John Stockton recorded 29 games in a row of 10-plus assists 20 seasons ago. Not to mention, Rondo is averaging a whopping 14.1 assists per game in the month of April.
In those 25 games, the Celtics are 16-9 and have won six of their last eight games.
Getting Rondo to slow the ball down and stopping him from getting into transition will be key for any team going up against the Celtics.