The playoffs are creeping closer and closer, and the stage is already pretty much set. All 8 teams that are in the Eastern Conference playoff picture now, will be the same ones in it come April's end. The only thing that's left to be desired is who will stand where, when it comes to playoff seeding.
So far, the Celtics are tied for the 5th seed in the East, and are actually 3 and a half games behind Indiana for the second seed, and even though the Celtics have lost to some lowly teams, they are not bad against some of the elites.
Believe it or not, the Celtics have the second-best winning percentage against the top 16 teams compared to the rest in the Eastern Conference top 8 seeds. Leading the pack is of course the Miami Heat, which is the only team in the Eastern Conference that has a winning record against the top 16 teams. This is how it goes:
Records Against The Top 16 Teams (West included)
1) Miami Heat: 25-10 (56.82% winning percentage)
2) Boston Celtics: 16-19 (45.71% winning percentage)
3) New York Knicks: 14-17 (45.16% winning percentage)
4) Indiana Pacers: 14-18 (43.75% winning percentage)
5) Chicago Bulls: 15-22 (40.54% winning percentage)
6) Milwaukee Bucks: 13-20 (39.39% winning percentage)
7) Brooklyn Nets: 14-22 (38.89% winning percentage)
8) Atlanta Hawks: 12-21 (36.36% winning percentage)
Just make note that the opposing teams count as playoff teams when you played them. So for example, the Celtics have beaten Utah while they were in the playoffs, so they count as a win in the playoff category, even though they're currently in the 9th seed in the Western Conference. On the other side, the 1-1 split that the Celtics have with the Lakers doesn't count either because the Lakers were not a playoff team when they faced the Celtics twice, even though the Lakers are now the 8th seed in the Western Conference.
So how do the Celtics stack up against the Eastern Conference top 8 seeds? Not too good, and not too bad:
Records Against The Top 8 Teams In The East
1) Miami Heat: 13-7 (65.00% winning percentage)
2) Chicago Bulls: 12-10 (54.55% winning percentage)
3) New York Knicks: 9-9 (50.00% winning percentage)
4) Boston Celtics: 10-10 (50.00% winning percentage)
5) Brooklyn Nets: 11-11 (50.00% winning percentage)
6) Milwaukee Bucks: 10-11 (47.62% winning percentage)
7) Indiana Pacers: 9-10 (47.37% winning percentage)
8) Atlanta Hawks: 6-12 (33.33% winning percentage)
The same rules applied as before. But here's another quick note: the way I set up seeds 3-5 was by average margin of victory. The Knicks are first with +1.0, the Celtics are second with -0.3, and the Nets are third with -3.5.
The Celtics have dropped the ball against teams with not-so-good records such as the Bobcats, Pistons, and Cavaliers, but they seem to hold their own pretty well against bigger and better competition.
Since the Rondo injury, the Celtics have a record of 4-0 against the top 8 teams in the East, and they have an overall record of 7-3 against the top 16 teams in the NBA. Regular season doesn't mean much once the playoffs hit though, because any seed could lose to any other seed, but this is just where the Celtics stack up.
What are your thoughts? Can the Celtics make another deep push in the playoffs?