The Boston Celtics' strong offseason may not be enough to save them from an early out in the playoffs next year.
Though the C's acquired guards Jason Terry and Courtney Lee and brought back SF Jeff Green and C Chris Wilcox for added depth, the rest of the Eastern Conference improved dramatically. The road back to the Eastern Conference finals (where the Celtics lost in seven games last season) will be far more difficult this year.
The Atlantic Division has gotten much better, to the point that it may now be the most competitive division in the league. Healthy Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks teams have the firepower to challenge the Celtics in a seven-game series. The Chicago Bulls will likely get Derrick Rose back at some point this season, placing them back at the top of the pack as competitors in the East.
All this without mentioning the preeminent threat in the Eastern Conference, the defending champion Miami Heat.
Let's take a look at three reasons why the Celtics face an uphill battle if they hope to represent the East in the NBA Finals.