2024 Celtic Playoff Prediction Poll

The 2024 Celtics record in the playoffs?

  • 16-0. Banner 18 - TOP5 Greatest NBA team ever?

    Votes: 4 2.4%
  • 16-5ish. Banner 18 - Not much pearl clutching

    Votes: 42 25.5%
  • 16-10ish. Banner 18 - Anything is Possible 2

    Votes: 82 49.7%
  • 1st Round Exit - Miami Nightmare

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • 2nd Round Exit - Markelle Fultz exacts revenge

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • ECF Exit - Bucks get it together

    Votes: 3 1.8%
  • FINALS loss - Prime Joker is unstoppable

    Votes: 32 19.4%

  • Total voters
    165
  • Poll closed .

benhogan

Granite Truther
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Nov 2, 2007
20,964
Santa Monica
Recent losses mean the Celtic's Net Rating has dropped into a tie for 4th All-Time (barely ahead of the 2008 Celtics). Still a wagon, but they are opting for a little rest, lethargy, and flipping the switch come playoff time.

16-5
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
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Dec 12, 2007
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16-6

I think they’ll take a few nights off and Joe will also rest people here and there with 2-0 or 3-0 leads. Porzingis probably misses some games, too.
 

ragnarok725

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Nov 28, 2003
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This team is primed to disappoint. Not because they're not great. They're historically great. But because the expectations are entirely unrealistic. As of right now, 75% of people think they're winning it all here.

I chose a 16-10ish Banner 18, but I think they could just as easily go down in the Finals, the ECF, or even in the 2nd round. Shit happens in the NBA. Lots of teams are good, and luck plays a bigger part than most want to admit.
 

Toe Nash

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Jul 28, 2005
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I don't think they rest anyone, that would be malpractice, but there will probably be some games missed by the top 5 and there will be some games where shots don't fall. And I think the Finals will be really tough if it's Denver. So 6-8 losses seems reasonable but as noted there is a very wide range of very possible outcomes.
 

m0ckduck

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Jul 20, 2005
1,990
This is a feebly non-controversial take, but: a first-round matchup with the Heat should answer every doubt we might have about this team for the remainder of the playoffs...
  • can they match top-level coaching?
  • can they thrive against a physical muck-it-up opponent within the new officiating standards?
  • can they demonstrate a killer instinct, close games and stay out of the pattern of the last two postseasons, where they've allowed teams to stay in series and had to play a lot of games to advance?
Of course, this is reductive in that they could always sweep the the first round and fail to win the Finals (a la the 2022 team), or struggle in the first round and still win it all (a la the 2008 team). But I can't shake the feeling that the first round will tell us already whether it's truly a new-and-improved Celtics squad or one that has retained elements of past years' undoing.
 

RedOctober3829

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Jul 19, 2005
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I'm saying 16-10 because I think 1 or 2 teams are going to push them to a long series. Basically, they've had a great regular season but they still have a lot to prove in the postseason. I'm very confident in this team, but until they win it all there will be doubt. I'm afraid the bad habits of playing like they have been in these meaningless games is going to carry over to the playoffs in the first round. If they come out in Game 1 and blow doors, I will feel better.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Mar 26, 2005
31,752
This team is primed to disappoint. Not because they're not great. They're historically great. But because the expectations are entirely unrealistic. As of right now, 75% of people think they're winning it all here.

I chose a 16-10ish Banner 18, but I think they could just as easily go down in the Finals, the ECF, or even in the 2nd round. Shit happens in the NBA. Lots of teams are good, and luck plays a bigger part than most want to admit.
What are we supposed to say, they're going out in the first round?

It's a poll - the Cs are going to win it all. They probably have as good a chance to win it all as any other response on the poll, so that's what I'm choosing!
 

thehitcat

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Nov 25, 2003
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They are gonna steamroll teams. I don't think they lose more than 3 games all playoffs so what the hell. 16-0 it is. LET'S GO!
 

bigq

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Jul 15, 2005
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I predict 16-10 with banner 18. They are going to lose a handful of super frustrating games along the way. That’s just a guess though. One thing that is certain is Rocco’s Game Logs are going to be super spicy on the Scoville Scale.
 

NoXInNixon

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Mar 24, 2008
5,394
They are gonna steamroll teams. I don't think they lose more than 3 games all playoffs so what the hell. 16-0 it is. LET'S GO!
I agree. I still don't think people really grasp how good the Celtics are. They're up there with peak Bulls and Warriors. If it weren't for recent playoff disappointment, we'd be a lot more confident, and a lot of historically dominant teams had to suffer through a frustrating playoff exit or two.

They are going to destroy the East. They won't lose more than one game in any playoff series. Most likely 12-2 going into the finals. Then they're going to play a worthy opponent, but that opponent will be a lot more gassed after having beaten three other worthy opponents. The win the Finals 4-1 for a final record of 16-3.
 

NoXInNixon

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Mar 24, 2008
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Will any sports book take wagers on the over/under of Celtics playoff losses? Has that ever been a thing?
 

pk1627

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May 24, 2003
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This is a great, great regular season team with veteran leadership and depth. Unfortunately the first round matchup is problematic and they fold like just about every year.

Wait, that was Bruins last year.

We know what championship-caliber teams are in Boston. Celts are going to need to prove they belong. I voted 2nd round exit but will be happy to be wrong.
 

Devizier

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They're going to lose games because there are a lot of good teams in the playoffs, even in the EC.

And if the last week has shown us anything, it's that you can't take much from a team's end of regular season performance once the playoffs start.
 

radsoxfan

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Aug 9, 2009
14,038
Will any sports book take wagers on the over/under of Celtics playoff losses? Has that ever been a thing?
Sort of a strange bet because the more rounds they play the more losses they are likely to get.

If they get swept out of the first round you probably win your bet on the under?

I suppose you can bet on just about anything but that would be a weird one.
 

NoXInNixon

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Mar 24, 2008
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This is a great, great regular season team with veteran leadership and depth. Unfortunately the first round matchup is problematic and they fold like just about every year.

Wait, that was Bruins last year.

We know what championship-caliber teams are in Boston. Celts are going to need to prove they belong. I voted 2nd round exit but will be happy to be wrong.
NHL playoffs are historically a lot more unpredictable than the NBA playoffs. Big upsets happen a lot more in the NHL, so it's not fair to compare the Celtics to the Bruins.
 

NoXInNixon

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Mar 24, 2008
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Sort of a strange bet because the more rounds they play the more losses they are likely to get.

If they get swept out of the first round you probably win your bet on the under?

I suppose you can bet on just about anything but that would be a weird one.
What about betting on the Celtics playoffs win differential? What's the over/under on how many more wins than losses? There probably isn't such a bet, at least I've never heard of one.
 

m0ckduck

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Jul 20, 2005
1,990
I agree. I still don't think people really grasp how good the Celtics are. They're up there with peak Bulls and Warriors.
Peak Bulls team had the all-time GOAT, and peak Warriors teams had either an MVP (in earlier years) or two top-10 MVP candidates during the Durant years. Deserved or not, part of the national skepticism surrounding the C's is that few great teams have had so little MVP buzz. The most grisly comp that one could make for this years' Celtics is the 60-win 2014-15 Hawks (shudder).
 

ragnarok725

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Nov 28, 2003
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What are we supposed to say, they're going out in the first round?

It's a poll - the Cs are going to win it all. They probably have as good a chance to win it all as any other response on the poll, so that's what I'm choosing!
Hey man, I'm with you! I voted they're going to win it all. I think they have a better shot than anyone else.

I'm just pre-emptively shaking my head at the folks who will call this season a failure and the players frauds if the ball doesn't bounce their way.
 

Koufax

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Being forever the dour pessimist, I voted that they lose in the finals to Denver. Jokic is unstoppable when he is determined.
 

fairlee76

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Oct 9, 2005
3,661
jp
I feel very confident the Celts get to the Finals. Then will be excited but really nervous about a match-up with the Nuggets or, to a lesser extent, the Wolves. Wolves defense is so good but don't like their halfcourt offense once things slow down in the playoffs.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Mar 26, 2005
31,752
Hey man, I'm with you! I voted they're going to win it all. I think they have a better shot than anyone else.

I'm just pre-emptively shaking my head at the folks who will call this season a failure and the players frauds if the ball doesn't bounce their way.
You know who is going to call this season a failure if they don't win it all? Ownership.

And if they don't have a championship in hand within the next two seasons for any reason, POBOBS is going to have to reconstruct this team. Which would be an absolute shame.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
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Apr 23, 2010
11,191
This is a feebly non-controversial take, but: a first-round matchup with the Heat should answer every doubt we might have about this team for the remainder of the playoffs...
  • can they match top-level coaching?
  • can they thrive against a physical muck-it-up opponent within the new officiating standards?
  • can they demonstrate a killer instinct, close games and stay out of the pattern of the last two postseasons, where they've allowed teams to stay in series and had to play a lot of games to advance?
Of course, this is reductive in that they could always sweep the the first round and fail to win the Finals (a la the 2022 team), or struggle in the first round and still win it all (a la the 2008 team). But I can't shake the feeling that the first round will tell us already whether it's truly a new-and-improved Celtics squad or one that has retained elements of past years' undoing.
this is a great post!

I wanted to avoid the Heat but fuck it…bring them on first. Blow their fucking doors off and send that dipshit Butler home to go make more coffee
 

ragnarok725

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You know who is going to call this season a failure if they don't win it all? Ownership.

And if they don't have a championship in hand within the next two seasons for any reason, POBOBS is going to have to reconstruct this team. Which would be an absolute shame.
I'll never understand this perspective on sports talk.

The Celtics, even with all the great moves they made, at the start of the season were +450 to win it all. That's 18.2% to win it all.

After a historically great regular season, where basically everything that could have gone right has gone right, that has jumped to +165. That's 37.7% to win it all.

How can anyone conclude that the 63% case is the failure scenario?
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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I'll never understand this perspective on sports talk.

The Celtics, even with all the great moves they made, at the start of the season were +400 to win it all. That's 18.2% to win it all.

After a historically great regular season, where basically everything that could have gone right has gone right, that has jumped to +165. That's 37.7% to win it all.

How can anyone conclude that the 63% case is the failure scenario?
This isn't a talk radio perspective. I think it's reality.

The Cs are about to become really expensive. I don't see any way ownership pays (or continues to pay up) for this group if they don't win a title. It's that simple.

The interesting thing is that I don't really see a path for this team to get better. It can get younger, it can get cheaper, it can get deeper, but it's really not going to get better. You have one of the best 6 players on the planet, an all-NBA or potential all-NBA player at every other position and a 6th man who likely will go to the HoF who is still productive.

Unless POBOBS can pull off some absolute heist.
 

PJ Martinez

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Aug 1, 2006
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Peak Bulls team had the all-time GOAT, and peak Warriors teams had either an MVP (in earlier years) or two top-10 MVP candidates during the Durant years. Deserved or not, part of the national skepticism surrounding the C's is that few great teams have had so little MVP buzz. The most grisly comp that one could make for this years' Celtics is the 60-win 2014-15 Hawks (shudder).
The absence of a top 2 or 3 guy in the league is definitely part of the skepticism, and not unreasonably, but this Celtics team is miles better than that Hawks team was. Those Hawks had the league's 6th-best offense and 6th-best defense; the Celtics are at no. 1 (by a lot) and no. 2. Those Hawks had four more wins than the underlying numbers suggested was likely (they were "lucky" in that sense); these Celtics actually have two fewer wins than the underlying numbers suggest. Also Tatum is better than anyone on that Hawks team, Brown and Porzingis are better than Millsap and Teague, etc., etc. (You know, it really is wild that that Hawks team won 60 games.)
 

lovegtm

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Apr 30, 2013
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This isn't a talk radio perspective. I think it's reality.

The Cs are about to become really expensive. I don't see any way ownership pays (or continues to pay up) for this group if they don't win a title. It's that simple.

The interesting thing is that I don't really see a path for this team to get better. It can get younger, it can get cheaper, it can get deeper, but it's really not going to get better. You have one of the best 6 players on the planet, an all-NBA or potential all-NBA player at every other position and a 6th man who likely will go to the HoF who is still productive.

Unless POBOBS can pull off some absolute heist.
The path to get better would be to trade Jaylen for a next-tier-up superstar, in a situation where that guy wanted out of his team, the guy wanted to re-sign with Boston, and the other team valued Jaylen's contract certainty.

I AM NOT SAYING THIS IS POSSIBLE OR HAPPENING OR THAT LUKA WOULD FORGO THE SUPERMAX, but it would look something like
- Luka wants out in Dallas
- Boston thinks they can fix his defense a bit and unlock him off-ball
- 5 years of Jaylen + 1-2 picks is more attractive than anything anyone else has, and lets Dallas retool around Jaylen + Kyrie immediately.
- Tatum+Luka is completely unstoppable offensively, without the my-turn-your-turn issues Luka has with Kyrie, and the defense is plenty good enough

(fwiw, despite the fact that I prefer Tatum, I think Luka is really really good and a clear upgrade on Jaylen)

Again, this is just to provide broad contours. Another option would look like turning Jrue or DWhite or KP and some picks into a player who is one level up from those guys.

Winning the title this year is the most attractive scenario, but Brad has a lot of ways to go if this group's shit doesn't work in the playoffs.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The path to get better would be to trade Jaylen for a next-tier-up superstar, in a situation where that guy wanted out of his team, the guy wanted to re-sign with Boston, and the other team valued Jaylen's contract certainty.

I AM NOT SAYING THIS IS POSSIBLE OR HAPPENING OR THAT LUKA WOULD FORGO THE SUPERMAX, but it would look something like
- Luka wants out in Dallas
- Boston thinks they can fix his defense a bit and unlock him off-ball
- 5 years of Jaylen + 1-2 picks is more attractive than anything anyone else has, and lets Dallas retool around Jaylen + Kyrie immediately.
- Tatum+Luka is completely unstoppable offensively, without the my-turn-your-turn issues Luka has with Kyrie, and the defense is plenty good enough

(fwiw, despite the fact that I prefer Tatum, I think Luka is really really good and a clear upgrade on Jaylen)

Again, this is just to provide broad contours. Another option would look like turning Jrue or DWhite or KP and some picks into a player who is one level up from those guys.

Winning the title this year is the most attractive scenario, but Brad has a lot of ways to go if this group's shit doesn't work in the playoffs.
Sure the Cs can get better by upgrading someone to Luka or Embiid (if he were to ask out) or maybe even KD or Kawhi (if they asked out, and on the short-term) but sorry I wasn't more clear - I meant I don't see a path where BOS gets better based on players who are even theoretically available at the moment.

Of course that could change at any time.
 

lars10

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Jul 31, 2007
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I agree. I still don't think people really grasp how good the Celtics are. They're up there with peak Bulls and Warriors. If it weren't for recent playoff disappointment, we'd be a lot more confident, and a lot of historically dominant teams had to suffer through a frustrating playoff exit or two.

They are going to destroy the East. They won't lose more than one game in any playoff series. Most likely 12-2 going into the finals. Then they're going to play a worthy opponent, but that opponent will be a lot more gassed after having beaten three other worthy opponents. The win the Finals 4-1 for a final record of 16-3.
This team has also been waiting for the playoffs for more than a month if not longer. They’re all just waiting at this point to get going.
 

lovegtm

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Apr 30, 2013
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Sure the Cs can get better by upgrading someone to Luka or Embiid (if he were to ask out) or maybe even KD or Kawhi (if they asked out, and on the short-term) but sorry I wasn't more clear - I meant I don't see a path where BOS gets better based on players who are even theoretically available at the moment.

Of course that could change at any time.
Yeah, it's the NBA, stuff changes fast. No one thought Jrue would be immediately available last summer.
 

Euclis20

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Peak Bulls team had the all-time GOAT, and peak Warriors teams had either an MVP (in earlier years) or two top-10 MVP candidates during the Durant years. Deserved or not, part of the national skepticism surrounding the C's is that few great teams have had so little MVP buzz. The most grisly comp that one could make for this years' Celtics is the 60-win 2014-15 Hawks (shudder).
As noted above there are a million differences between this team and the 2015 Hawks (the worst 60 win team of all-time, and they were just 4th in net rating that season), a scarier (slightly more realistic) recent comp would be the 2022 Suns. 64 wins, 1st in net rating, legit star (but not MVP level player) in Booker, great supporting cast, and had been to the finals the year before. They fell in embarrassing fashion in round 2 to a team that was definitely worse (Dallas), but definitely had a better superstar (Luka), in part because of an injury to their own star (Booker hurt his hamstring in round 1 and missed several games in round 1).
 

lovegtm

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As noted above there are a million differences between this team and the 2015 Hawks (the worst 60 win team of all-time, and they were just 4th in net rating that season), a scarier (slightly more realistic) recent comp would be the 2022 Suns. 64 wins, 1st in net rating, legit star (but not MVP level player) in Booker, great supporting cast, and had been to the finals the year before. They fell in embarrassing fashion in round 2 to a team that was definitely worse (Dallas), but definitely had a better superstar (Luka), in part because of an injury to their own star (Booker hurt his hamstring in round 1 and missed several games in round 1).
Another scary thing is how close the 2016 and 2017 and 2018 Warriors came to losing in the Western Conference side of the bracket. Everyone knows the 2016 and 2018 WCF, but the 2017 Spurs were scary good before Kawhi got Zaza'd.

One thing the Celtics have going for them: those GS teams faced way, way better opponents in the playoffs than anything in the East this year. The 2022 Suns, as you note, got knocked off by a very mediocre Mavs team.
 

Euclis20

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Another scary thing is how close the 2016 and 2017 and 2018 Warriors came to losing in the Western Conference side of the bracket. Everyone knows the 2016 and 2018 WCF, but the 2017 Spurs were scary good before Kawhi got Zaza'd.

One thing the Celtics have going for them: those GS teams faced way, way better opponents in the playoffs than anything in the East this year. The 2022 Suns, as you note, got knocked off by a very mediocre Mavs team.
Yeah half of the story of the East this year is how good the Celtics have been, the other half is how mediocre and/or injured the rest of the conference has been. There's a decent argument that the next five best teams in the East are Milwaukee, Philly, Cleveland, New York and Indy, and literally all of those teams are dealing with major injuries to one of their two best players. Meanwhile Boston is as healthy as could possibly be hoped for at this point in the season (minor bumps to Jaylen/Jrue/KP are par for the course at this point in the schedule).

It's impossible to overstate how painful a loss prior to the finals will be. This won't be the last chance for this team, but there's just no conceivable way that they'll ever have a cleaner path through the conference playoffs.
 

lovegtm

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Yeah half of the story of the East this year is how good the Celtics have been, the other half is how mediocre and/or injured the rest of the conference has been. There's a decent argument that the next five best teams in the East are Milwaukee, Philly, Cleveland, New York and Indy, and literally all of those teams are dealing with major injuries to one of their two best players. Meanwhile Boston is as healthy as could possibly be hoped for at this point in the season (minor bumps to Jaylen/Jrue/KP are par for the course at this point in the schedule).

It's impossible to overstate how painful a loss prior to the finals will be. This won't be the last chance for this team, but there's just no conceivable way that they'll ever have a cleaner path through the conference playoffs.
Not making the Finals (if reasonably healthy) should and probably would trigger massive, massive changes. "Only Tatum is untouchable" type changes.

This isn't to get all Chicken Little: I believe in this team a lot. But the front office did a lot of productive soul-searching last offseason wrt Marcus, and they'd definitely do it again.
 

Jeff Van GULLY

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Health is going to determine how far they get until the Finals. In the Finals, they should not be favored against Denver but let's call that a toss-up. If they are still healthy by then, anything is possible.
 

kfoss99

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Not making the Finals (if reasonably healthy) should and probably would trigger massive, massive changes. "Only Tatum is untouchable" type changes.

This isn't to get all Chicken Little: I believe in this team a lot. But the front office did a lot of productive soul-searching last offseason wrt Marcus, and they'd definitely do it again.
I love Tatum, on the level of Pierce and Nomar. Barring injury, if they don't make it to the Finals with this roster, I'd think Tatum would no longer be untouchable.

But, like Pierce, maybe they stick with him and get the exact right pieces around him. I'm hoping this year's roster is it, like we all do.
 

RG33

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This team is so well constructed, to a point where in a 7-game series there are really no weaknesses to exploit.

This team is so talented, at all levels, there really are no bad matchups.

This team is so deep, barring an injurty to JT, I don’t think that even stops them.

This team is playoff-tested, ballers at home with HC advantage throughout, and are selfless and focused on a C.

This team is going to maul teams. I would be surprised if ANY series goes more than 5 games.
 

lovegtm

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I love Tatum, on the level of Pierce and Nomar. Barring injury, if they don't make it to the Finals with this roster, I'd think Tatum would no longer be untouchable.

But, like Pierce, maybe they stick with him and get the exact right pieces around him. I'm hoping this year's roster is it, like we all do.
You can't trade Tatum because there is no one better than him who you could get in a trade. Whereas with the other guys, there are possible trades if stars come free where you could improve, and still have the other team accept the deal.

(Unless your conclusion is that no one on this roster can lead a title winner, which I think is pretty unlikely based on 2022 and 2023.)

The better parallel than Pierce is Dirk, who probably should have won in 2006, crashed out with a great team in 2007, and then was able to win in 2011.
 

Ed Hillel

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Health is going to determine how far they get until the Finals. In the Finals, they should not be favored against Denver but let's call that a toss-up. If they are still healthy by then, anything is possible.
Particularly with home court, they should absolutely be favored. Why wouldn’t they be?
 

lovegtm

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The more interesting question, if they don't make the Finals, would "what is the issue?"

I think they'd likely conclude that it was having one top-10 guy plus a lot of very very good players, as opposed to 2 top-10/15 guys, and try to rework the roster accordingly. Easier said than done, since you need that guy to come free.

And maybe they'll win it all and make all this moot!
 

Euclis20

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Particularly with home court, they should absolutely be favored. Why wouldn’t they be?
The Nuggets have the better player, they won last year, they've beaten Boston twice this year, and with Murray in the lineup they're on a 62 win pace. Assuming health I think it would be pretty close to even odds, but I'd bet on most of the pundits going with Denver. The current title odds deficit (+190 for Boston, +320 for Denver) I believe is almost entirely due to Denver's far more difficult path to the finals.
 

Auger34

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Apr 23, 2010
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This team is so well constructed, to a point where in a 7-game series there are really no weaknesses to exploit.

This team is so talented, at all levels, there really are no bad matchups.

This team is so deep, barring an injurty to JT, I don’t think that even stops them.

This team is playoff-tested, ballers at home with HC advantage throughout, and are selfless and focused on a C.

This team is going to maul teams. I would be surprised if ANY series goes more than 5 games.
oh boy….thinking like this is just bound to leave you disappointed
 

Auger34

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The more interesting question, if they don't make the Finals, would "what is the issue?"

I think they'd likely conclude that it was having one top-10 guy plus a lot of very very good players, as opposed to 2 top-10/15 guys, and try to rework the roster accordingly. Easier said than done, since you need that guy to come free.

And maybe they'll win it all and make all this moot!
I think theyd probably look at changing the offensive profile. Try to get to the rim more, less 3 pointers.

I know this won’t make me popular amongst the posters here but it they don’t make the finals,Tatum is the one that’s going to be raked over the coals, and rightfully so. We all hold a higher opinion of him here than regular media but that would be a massive slight on his resume. This team is fucking good and if he can’t lead them to a Finals appearance that reflects most poorly on him
 
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chrisfont9

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this is a great post!

I wanted to avoid the Heat but fuck it…bring them on first. Blow their fucking doors off and send that dipshit Butler home to go make more coffee
I think they want the Heat, tbh. Swept them easily this regular season. Reminds me of the last Brooklyn series two seasons ago. I don't know if they will be as consistent as we want them to be, but they are consistently excellent when they have vengeance on their minds, I'll say that much.