Celtics Talk: Breaking out confidence meters as playoffs approach

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Justin Leger
·3 min read
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Celtics Talk: Breaking out confidence meters as playoffs approach originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

With the NBA playoffs only a month away, the Boston Celtics are playing some of their best basketball of the season.

The C's rode a six-game win streak into Monday night's matchup with the Chicago Bulls. Even though that streak came to an end, there's plenty more optimism surrounding the team than there was earlier this month when they were simply trying to stay above .500.

Tatum on Theis: 'Sad to see him on the other side'

Despite the improvements they've made over the last couple of weeks, the Celtics still aren't getting a ton of love from oddsmakers when it comes to the 2021 NBA championship. Boston currently is listed at +4000 to win the NBA title, giving it the 10th best odds in the league -- odds provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook. The Brooklyn Nets (+225), Los Angeles Lakers (+350), Los Angeles Clippers (+500), Utah Jazz (+800), and Philadelphia 76ers (+1200).

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

Do the Celtics deserve to be in the same conversation as those frontrunners following their six-game win streak? Chris Forsberg and Amina Smith discussed that and rated their confidence level in the C's in a brand new episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast.

Celtics Talk Podcast: Breaking out confidence meters as playoffs approach for Celtics | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"On a scale of 1 to 5 I would say maybe like a 3.5 that they're pushing in the right direction," Smith said. "I think that's because the way that I'm looking at it in the East is that every time I look at the standings, you think you know who's going to be in the Eastern Conference Finals and who's going to be in the NBA Finals and then you're just like, OK, I don't know what's happening right now. ... The East is so jumbled up. ...

"I think the Celtics are making a push to be in that conversation, I think it'll take a lot of different factors for them to truly be realistically where we're talking about them being in the Eastern Conference Finals or even in the NBA Finals. I feel like a lot of different things might have to happen."

Forsberg: Daunting East playoff path taking shape for Celtics

Forsberg admits he was down on the C's prior to the streak, but he's done a bit of a 180 with their recent play.

"I'm about a 3," Forsberg said. "It probably was six games ago, seven games ago I was on the other side. I was probably a 1.5. There's nothing about what the team had done to that point that made me think they could muscle back into that conversation. They didn't have an identity, they crumbled in the fourth quarter.

"What's been refreshing about this stretch here is it feels like a lot of the stuff they were doing poorly they've started to do well. Last night notwithstanding against the Bulls, they've been better in the fourth quarters, their defense has been very good when they've had everybody healthy, and so I see signs that they can muscle into that conversation."

Also in the new episode: How confident are you in the Celtics being healthy come playoff time? Any concern over Jayson Tatum’s shooting struggles against the Bulls? Danny Ainge’s nickname for Luke Kornet. And did the Celtics’ six-game win streak prove they have what it takes for a playoff run?

Check out the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast on your favorite podcast app or watch it on YouTube below.