At least not from ESPN. The Celtics may have been the only NBA team to sweep their first round series but that doesn't mean the experts over at ESPN are going to give them any credit.
"Boston made a statement against New York, but this season's Celtics still seem poorly equipped to make a deep playoff run," quotes ESPNBoston from an Insider piece. "Beyond lacking a strong center and playing slowly, the Celtics had the lowest offensive rebounding rate in the league this year. Historically, that would mark them as possible playoff underperformers."
"Admittedly, the C's managed to buck these same trends in 2010, but unlike Kevin Garnett did last year, Shaquille O'Neal nor Jermaine O'Neal seems likely to step up," the quote continues. "Instead, the Celtics made it through the first round with 47 percent 3-point shooting, far above their regular season average (and possibly a product of the Knicks' poor defense).
Ray Allen showed in last year's NBA Finals that one good stretch of shooting doesn't necessarily carry over to the next game or series. In fact, previous trends suggest Boston could play more than two points worse than expected, meaning that it might take another stroke of luck from deep to get past the Miami Heat in Round 2."
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No one likes the Celtics.
John Hollinger partly blamed New York's injuries for Boston's sweep and said he thinks the Heat will "breeze by them fairly easily". Henry Abbott, when talking about how some teams are picked to win based on their reputations said, "I would pick Miami over the Celtics in a heartbeat if it was just based on quality of play and rosters."
I can't remember the last time the Celtics were favored by the experts anyway. Even back in '08 no one thought they could win it all.
So, the analysts have no faith in the C's. Do you?