By now, the Boston Celtics have come to expect adversity. The most recent setback, season-ending knee surgery for Kyrie Irving, left teams in the East almost hoping for a chance to face the wounded Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. Boston enters as the No. 2 seed.
Teams in the East were jockeying to get on Boston’s side of the playoff bracket because the Celtics are so banged up — no Kyrie Irving, no Gordon Hayward, no Marcus Smart, no Daniel Theis. The Milwaukee Bucks finished with the seven seed and got the chance
When the Celtics signed Greg Monroe, they were adding a guy who was joining his third team…this season! Monroe and Larkin arriving in Boston under less-than-ideal circumstances only to thrive once in town is not unusual since Brad Stevens took over as Celtics coach in 2013.
By Philip O'Connor STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Having made it all the way to the Eastern Conference finals with former club Boston Celtics a year ago, sharp-shooting Swede Jonas Jerebko has told Reuters his Utah Jazz team fear no-one as the NBA playoffs get under way this weekend. The Jazz burst into life in January and eventually finished fifth in the Western Conference with a 48-34 record, and they will face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. It's been an exciting season and we've played our best basketball at the end of it," Jerebko said.
Brad Stevens may seem pretty mild-mannered on the sidelines, but his players tell a different story. Brown said Stevens has never told him that he would be harder on him than some others, but what they have is an unspoken understanding on the matter built upon respect and improvement – both in Brown's game and the Celtics' win total.
Brad Stevens knows, even if he had a full complement of talent available, the Celtics will need multiple players to step up their play in their first-round series against Milwaukee. Boston went into the season with a Big Three model, only to enter the postseason with one member of that talented triumvirate healthy – Al Horford. And while he is praised for his versatility to contribute in a multitude of ways, his job in this series will be to do what no one has done this season – slow down fellow All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo. "I trust Al to guard any position because he can really move his feet, he's got great size and length, and his attention to detail is excellent," said Stevens.
The NBA postseason kicks off on Saturday April 14 and will continue until June when a champion is crowned in the NBA Finals. The Rockets enter this year's playoffs tied with the defending champion Warriors for the best odds to hoist the Larry O'Brien
The NBA is about the players. Entire postseason series can change on the back of one man. When Minnesota acquired Butler from the Chicago Bulls, the Twin Cities were thrilled, but Butler was just as excited to be reunited with coach Tom Thibodeau.
It was National Barbershop Quartet Day on Wednesday (duh)! So, wouldn't it be fun to honor our favorite type of musical foursome by figuring out which Celtics players would make the best Barbershop Quartet? MORE CELTICS – Now, who's the C's go-to guy? The Celtics four-man unit that hit the highest notes this season (scored the most points per 100 possessions) was the ensemble of Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart (but, but, he can't shoot?!) and Al Horford.
The regular season is done and dusted and now the serious competition and drama commences. Defending champions the Golden State Warriors will be looking to emerge from a loaded Western Conference and win a third title in four years, while the Toronto Raptors will have designs on overthrowing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.