Can the Boston Celtics Hang with the Western Conference Powers?

John LewisSenior Writer IMarch 22, 2008

As the Boston Celtics completed a sweep of all Texas teams and increased their lead in the Eastern Conference standings, you have to wonder:

Where would they be if they played in the West?

Their overall record would have them sitting on top by seven games and their defense leads the entire league by giving up the least amount of points per game.  They also have a 23-4 record versus the West and have won their last four against all playoff teams.

But would that be enough to convince everyone that the C's would be the best team in either conference?  What would be the deciding factor? 

The fact is that Boston has three of the top scorers, good three-point shooting, good defense, and has won games without a healthy roster for most of the year.

Also, the Beasts of the East are third in points per game and ninth in the league, first in field goal percentage and fourth overall, first in opponent's field goal percentage and first overall,  and first in steals per game and fourth in the league.

These are great stats to make the claim that the Celtics are the best team in the NBA.  Aside from the 22-game win streak by Houston, Boston has been among the top teams in the power rankings.

But what will be the difference maker is the fact that the Celtics have the best D...which is only giving up 90 points per game.  They are making the plays that other teams aren't and that will continue throughout the playoffs.

My prediction is that the Celtics will raise the trophy at the end through sheer defense and determination. 

Sorry Western Conference fans—Kobe, Paul, McGrady, Duncan or Nash will not be the last man standing.