Paul Flannery, a good friend of CelticsHub and writer over at WEEI.com, made an interesting find over on WEEI’s Green Street Blog, regarding the C’s chances of winning the top spot in the Eastern Conference at the conclusion of this year’s regular season:
According to Justin Kubatko’s playoff forecasting model on Basketball-Reference.com, it’s actually worth quite a bit. Using Kubatko’s method, the Celtics now have a 72.4 percent chance of gaining the top spot based on 1,000 simulations. That’s up from around 60 percent before Tuesday’s game.
With Kevin Garnett back in the lineup and more help on the way in February from Kendrick Perkins and Delonte West, the Celtics have kept themselves in position to make a run in the second half of the season. They would do well to continue putting pressure on Miami, who play 10 of its 13 games at home in the month of March.
To me at first glance, that 72 percent number seems a bit high with Boston just 2 1/2 games up after Miami has suffered their own rash of injuries these past four games. Nonetheless, you still have to take into the quality of Boston’s schedule thus far. Here’s a quick look at C’s quality opponents left in the East for the remainder of the year.
New York (2)
There’s still a couple four game road trips out West, as the C’s venture out there next week for their first true test. Yet, with all the other heavyweights beating up on each other in plenty of head-to-head matchups over the final month, and the C’s slowly but surely getting healthy you can’t help but be encouraged by Boston’s prospects in this department. Clearly, there’s still work to be done but the goal looks a lot more attainable than it did last week, as the C’s looked to have gotten over their post Christmas day slide with only minor effects.