The season hasn't even finished yet and I haven't seen any legit playoff previews yet, but if this end of season grades post by Britt Robson (who I like by the way) is any indication, we can expect a lot of the experts to discount or outright count out the Celtics.
NBA regular-season grades for 2011-12 season - Britt Robson - SI.com
The Celtics' greatest accomplishment this season won't be the championship they have coveted since this core group of players last won it all in 2008; there simply isn't enough youthful depth or veteran endurance to battle that far. But with its glorious 13-4 spurt through most of March and into early April, Boston has probably postponed a massive roster overhaul at least another year.
He goes on to talk about how the Celtics can reload again for next year, which kinda seems like skipping a step. We do have the playoffs to play after all. I'm obviously quite biased, but I say count this team out at your own risk. They will not go out quietly, if at all.
By the way, Britt grades the Celtics with a B+, which might actually be too kind. I thought they had a C- first half and an A- second half, which probably averages in the mid to low B range. But I like the way they are trending. Saving the best for last?