Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Forget about the shroud of uncertainty surrounding the Boston Celtics thanks to trade rumors and injury concerns circulating this season. It seems as though the veteran ball club has done everything in their power to stave off the doubt and not only maintain their legitimacy in the Eastern Conference, but improve their NBA odds in the process. With a five-game West Coast swing on the horizon next week, Boston will face all the more pressure to live up to their NBA futures. According to Bovada’s NBA oddsmakers, the Celtics have 20-1 odds of winning the championship. In order to make good on such lofty expectations, however, the short-staffed Celtics will have to find a way to continue to win games in the absence of superstar point guard Rajon Rondo and standout rookie Jared Sullinger. If their play of late is any indication, though, that shouldn’t be a problem. Thanks to a convincing win streak in the thick of the 2012-13 campaign, Boston has emerged as a contender for the Larry O’Brien Trophy this June. Although an elite-level Celtics team is nothing new, many had speculated that the window of opportunity had already closed on the squad led by the 36-year-old Kevin Garnett and 35-year-old Paul Pierce. Up first for the veterans on their West Coast adventure will be a more than capable Denver Nuggets team, followed by dates with, among others, the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trailblazers. There’s no guarantee that the C’s make it through the road swing with as much momentum as they’ll take into it, but Boston has done nothing but prove critics wrong this season. A quiet week this week, coupled with the looming NBA trade deadline means that this forthcoming five-game stand could be indicative of just where this team falls in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Although it’s nearly a foregone conclusion at this stage that they’ll qualify for the postseason, the question comes down to whether they’ll make the cut as one of the conference’s elite. Few may have suspected the Celtics to continue winning games at this point in the year considering the cards that they’ve been dealt — maybe that’s our fault for interpreting Boston’s age as a liability rather than an asset. Get NBA odds for the Eastern Conference playoff race at Bovada. With postseason positioning on the line, the final stretch starts now.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Falcons reportedly will lose pick over pumping in crowd noise

Report: Sam Bradford wouldn't sign extension with Browns

Jimbo Fisher: Winston is victim of ‘character assassination’

Russell Wilson on contract: 'It's going to work out'

Kentucky seeks one kind of history, Coach K makes another

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Matt Stafford's fiancee rips newspaper over article

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Frozen Four: Providence earns first bid since 1985

Report: Discussions to bring NFL team to L.A. are progressing

Report: Chris Mullin expected to take St. John's job

Michigan State beats Louisville, punches Final Four ticket

Top 10 stories from NCAA Tourney's second weekend

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: How can every team win?

WrestleMania 31 results: Rollins cashes in, Rousey appears

Five soon-to-be NBA free agents with a lot on the line

WATCH: Russell Wilson hits home run during Rangers BP

Hooked 'em: Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Adam Morrison trolled fan who made JJ Redick comment

Jim Harbaugh finished fourth in student government election

WATCH: Notre Dame gets warm reception upon return home

WATCH: Kris Letang hospitalized after hit

Aaron Rodgers, sportswriter get into it over on-court access

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It's sparring tall-tale season

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: Can every team win?

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Report: Chris Mullin to take St. John's job

Report: NFL looking into more cameras

CC Sabathia goes off about spring stats

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.