* Dan Feldman, Piston Powered: Fact. Their 3½-game lead, like I wrote above, means more than most acknowledge. It was probably foolish keeping the Big Three together past the trade deadline for the meager reward of a playoff berth, but at least the plan comes with the meager reward of a playoff berth.
* Brett Koremenos, Hoopspeak: Fact ... but barely. While they currently hold a 3½-game lead over the Bucks, the Celtics' schedule is much tougher than Milwaukee's and New York's the rest of the way. And, unlike those two teams, Boston has been very heavily reliant on its four stars to have success. Any injury problems, even if they result in less than a handful of missed games, could be enough to derail their playoff aspirations.
* Jeremy Schmidt, Bucksketball: Fact. Boston kept all its veterans and didn't sell on Rajon Rondo at the deadline. Given that and the team's three-game lead on the eight spot, the Celtics should be able to fight off father time for one more season and grab the seventh spot in the East.
* Robert Silverman, Knickerblogger: Fact. If you watched Monday's execrable Celts-Hawks tilt, and even though the Celts are wafer-thin, Boston is still better than any other Eastern Conference team at executing plays at the ends of games. It's a painfully tired cliche, but these cats just know how to win. They'll be the seventh or eighth seed.
* Michael Wallace, ESPN.com: Fact. Being as though I just classified the Celtics -- if relatively healthy -- as a potentially dangerous team that could be a tough out, I've got them in. They have enough experience and talent to pull it together and get into the postseason tournament.
Hop HERE to read the full 5-on-5.
Play Podcast Patriots CB Kyle Arrington talks about recovering the onside kick in the victory over the Browns, his team's comeback wins, New England's reaction to Rob Gronkowski's injury and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer dishes on the impact of Rob Gronkowski's injury, Tony Romo's style of play, Chip Kelly's coaching, Robert Griffin III's struggles and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck talks about the quality of officiating, Wes Welker's health, Rob Gronkowski's injury, the state of the Redskins and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski discusses how Rob Gronkowski's injury could affect the Patriots' playoff success, the Eagles' offense, Peyton Manning's throwing style and more.
Play Podcast Mike Greenberg and Cris Carter cover Week 14 of the NFL season, including Rob Gronkowski's injury, Panthers-Saints, Peyton Manning's big day, the drama in Washington and more.
Play Podcast Two-time World Series champion Johnny Damon dishes on Jacoby Ellsbury's decision to sign with the Yankees, what moving from Boston to New York is like and more.