1) The best players on the team can routinely play 37 minutes a game instead of 29.
2) There are no more back-to-backs
3) The game naturally slows down, often with each team running increasing numbers of pick-and-roll/pick-and-pop plays.
a) On defense the Cs have the best P-and-R defender in the NBA playing center and now 2 excellent on-ball defenders on the perimeter.
b) And on offense, the Cs now have 3 veteran players that thrive at both initiating and finishing the pick-and-play game and have done so at a championship level.
4) With Bradley, Lee and Green we have three ultra-athletes capable of defending elite point guards, shooting guards, and small forwards 1-on-1 with reasonable help. No more having to worry about wearing down Pierce against the LeBrons and Melos, leaving him with no energy for offense because he's gassed on defense. No having to have KG play a 1-man zone defense shadowing Wade, because Ray can't approach the task without major help, leaving Chris Bosh wide open to do his will and KG gassed from trying to defend 2 superstars at once. No more worrying about Rose or Deron living in the paint and breaking down the D with little effort. This team is build to defend all of the contenders in the East.
5) Unlike other "hustle" regular season teams like the Nuggets or the Rose-less Bulls, the Celtics actually have high end talent that can take over entire games in the postseason. If the supporting cast can keep it competitive, and all signs are that our cast is finally becoming what it should be, we have the horses that can push us over the top.
I keep reading about the Celtics' recent success being mystifying, or that it's a fluke, or that the team's best hope is to squeak into the playoffs and then get dusted in the first round. I just completely, unequivocally disagree. And I know that I'm a so-called "optimistic" fan, but in this case...if I was able to predict almost verbatim exactly what this team would look like without Rondo way back in August, based entirely on how our team plays and the talent Danny had stockpiled, why would it be a mystery to me that they are actually playing to expectation? By the same token, if Danny doesn't blow it up and we can manage to not have any more major rotation players go down (two huge 'Ifs', these days) it likewise won't be a mystery to me when the Celtics proceed to start "upsetting" all of these Eastern Conference high seeds on a crash course with another tilt with Miami to determine who makes the Finals...a tilt that they can ABSOLUTELY win, by the way...
(...assuming again, of course, that our best players continue to play on the Celtics by the time the playoffs begin...)