Kevin Garnett and his Boston Celtics are fresh off of a stellar second-half of the season, as the older, veteran ball club will have to surprise the league and turn heads with top-notch play from the start of the 2012 NBA Playoffs.
The East is headlined by the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat, as these two teams have earned the title of the top teams in the conference. Yet as the No. 4-seed, the Celtics come in as a team with the potential to be the dark horse of the playoffs, as there is no question this team boasts the talent to win an NBA championship.
Will the Celtics have the stamina to pull off a surprise in the East? Does Rondo have what it takes to go off this postseason?
These are the 4 boldest predictions for these Boston Celtics heading into the postseason.
If Kevin Garnett plays like he has the entire second-half of the 2011-12 season, the Celtics are in business.
There is one statistic that says it all when it comes to Garnett's impact. Quoted from a previous piece of mine: "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."
It is clear that when Garnett gets active on the offensive end, this team thrives.
With the 2012 playoff campaign being one of the final ones of his career, expect Garnett to put forth a solid effort on the offensive end as well as the defensive end. If there's one player that can put it all on the line on this team, it's the Big Ticket.
Doc Rivers will not only bring his top-notch coaching form to the table during this postseason, he will be the best coach in the playoffs.
Throughout the course of the entire regular season, Rivers dealt with countless injuries and a completely new-look roster headed into the 2011-12 season, and still the Celtics were able to finish with the No. 4-seed in the East.
Rivers was able to develop players like Greg Stiemsma and Avery Bradley in the process, as well as integrate rookies E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson in the mix as well.
Rivers has done an impressive job with this unit to say the least, and will continue to do so in these 2012 playoffs.
With 24 consecutive games with 10-plus assists, Rajon Rondo is inching that much closer to John Stockton’s record of 29 games in a row of double-digit assists.
Not only will Rondo surpass Stockton on this list, he will also post three triple-doubles in the first-round matchup against the Atlanta Hawks.
He is the only player in the NBA with multiple triple-doubles this season, totaling a whopping six on the year. As the Hawks are weak in the PG position, there is every reason to believe that Rondo will shine bright in the spotlight.
When basketball fans think of the East, LeBron James and the high-flying Miami Heat as well as the Chicago Bulls take over the headlines.
Yet with the way these Celtics have turned it up as of late, there is no question this is a team that is on their way to making a case for themselves as the East’s best.
Boasting championship experience in their core Big Three can’t hurt either.
There may not be an NBA Finals appearance for this team this season, but rest assured—this is a team that will be battling it out in the conference finals.