In his PER Diem column for Wednesday, John Hollinger examines the chances that each of the East's other potential playoff squads have to prevent a Bulls-Heat finals. Here's a look at Hollinger's take on the Celtics:
Why they might shock Miami or Chicago: Well, we've seen this movie before -- Boston staggers through the regular season, gets its starters healthy for the playoffs and then gears up for a run. Amidst all the team's troubles, the Celtics' defense hasn't wavered (third in defensive efficiency), and their biggest weakness, the bench, will be much less of a factor when the starters play 40 minutes a night in the playoffs.
On the other hand ... They're just not that good. Boston is only 19th in the Power Rankings and has barely outscored its opponents while playing the league's third-eastiest schedule thus far. Also, the Celtics are out of bigs. With Chris Wilcox and Jermaine O'Neal done for the season, the Celtics' frontcourt "depth" consists of limited shot-blocker Greg Stiemsma and underachieving hothead Ryan Hollins.
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