The Boston Celtics tend to save their best for the postseason.
With a 41-40 regular season record, that seems more like wishful thinking than reality, but underestimating the Celtics only brings bad news to opponents.
After limping its way through most of the lockout-shortened season, Boston rallied to capture the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference a year ago. The Celtics then embarked on an improbable run to Game 7 of the conference finals, pushing the Heat to the brink of elimination.
It would be foolish for any team to repeat the same mistake as the Heat made.
This time around, the Celtics will be the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference—a position the franchise has not been in since the NBA moved to include 16 teams during the 1983-84 season.
First up are the second-seeded New York Knicks who will attempt to snuff out any Boston run before it can spark.
Not only that, the Knicks will look to improve on their own recent dreadful postseason history. Since 2002, the team has won just one playoff game. By comparison, Boston has won 69 over that same stretch—including a first-round sweep of New York in 2011.
Will history repeat itself or will the Knicks send Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett home, pondering retirement?