The upcoming road trips will most definitely be the toughest test the Celtics will face this regular season. After a home matchup versus the ailing Detroit Pistons on Wednesday (the 15th), they embark on a five game road trip visiting the Bulls, Pistons, Mavericks, Thunder, and Cavaliers. The Thunder and Cavaliers matchup will, however, be broken up by All-Star weekend, of which The Truth was selected as a reserve (congratulations on his 10th appearance). The lucky part about this trip is that the C’s will endure just one back-to-back with Detroit and Dallas. I’ll be relatively content if they come out with a record of 3-2, but a 4-1 effort would be outstanding. The game against the Thunder will obviously be the toughest one to grab. They are the Celtics kryptonite: young, skilled, and athletic. If the C’s can snag that one in Chesapeake Energy Arena, I’ll be truly impressed. However, reports show that they’ll most likely be without 6th man stud Brandon Bass, so the C’s hopes will likely rest on the shoulders of unproven rookie JaJuan Johnson.
After that road trip, the Celtics enjoy the next 5 of 6 games played at home, with the lone road game coming against new division rival Philadelphia. There’s only back-to-back tied in that stretch with Houston and Philly. Hopefully, Boston can grab 4 or 5 wins during that stretch, and will be in prime position as they embark on their most grueling stretch of the season. Check out the free NBA picks and NBA handicappers today!
That grueling stretch will be a season-defining eight game road trip where they will face the Lakers, “Lob City” Clippers, Warriors, Kings, Nuggets, Hawks, Bucks, and 76ers. If the C’s can stay healthy on this trip and can get some serious help from the bench, I see them grabbing four or five wins here. The NBA schedulers were not friendly to the veterans on this trip as they scheduled three back-to-backs during the lengthy road trip. They face Lakers-Clippers, Kings-Nuggets, and Bucks-76ers, all on back-to-backs. Thanks a lot NBA…
Coming out of this road trip Celtics Nation will know exactly what kind of team we will see for the rest of the season and will know their true colors. I think the best possible outcome would be for them to have reclaimed the top spot in the Atlantic Division by this point. At the worst, 7 or 8 seed. However, Jeremy Lin and the Knicks could have a major impact on these outcomes. In the past, going on the road has been this team’s strong point and really hasn’t been a concern, and I hope that trend will emerge over this stretch too. For instance, the last time the Celtics made the finals in 2010 they entered the playoffs as a
four-seed. Before those playoffs began, Doc Rivers constantly stressed that his team was not worried about not having home court advantage because of their veteran team and dominance on the road. This year, unless they catch the surging 76ers they’ll most likely settle for a 6 or 7 seed, meaning that they won’t have home court advantage. However, if the old Celtics enjoy success on these road trips and emerge without any serious injuries, I know Celtics Nation will be thinking optimistically about a deep postseason run. I know I will.
Yes, it seems that everything is going to have to be almost perfect for this group of Celtics to make some noise in the playoffs, but hey, last hoorahs can’t be storybook endings without a little magic right?