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Managing expectations for the Celtics and Bruins potential playoff runs

Loui Eriksson and the Bruins will take on the Devils in a key game Tuesday night.<Getty Images

The Celtics are surely going to make the playoffs. The Bruins are in right now, but need to win more than they lose in their final six regular season games to make the NHL dance.

Neither team has much of a chance of winning it all this spring, but what transpires between now and their end of their respective seasons is wholly important in regards to both of their longterm futures.

The Stanley Cup playoffs begin on Wednesday, April 13 and the NBA playoffs crank up three days later. Here’s a look at the pie-in-the-sky ceilings and the worst case scenarios for both squads.


The C’s had won four straight games heading into last night’s late tilt in LA against the Clippers, but they remained in fourth place in the East – a half game behind the Hawks for the No. 3 seed. The C’s definitely want to get to No. 3 as they’d avoid top seed Cleveland in the second round (assuming that they’d take care of business in the first round).

Getting by Toronto (the likely No. 2 seed) in the semifinals would be a tough task for sure. But the Raptors are new to this playoff thing just like the young Celtics. Toronto lost in the first round in each of the past two seasons and was swept out of the postseason by the Wizards just last year.

The Celtics beat a Kyle Lowry-less Raptors squad last week in Boston, but it remains to be seen if they can win North of the border. Toronto has been excellent at the Air Canada Centre with a record of 28-8. The Celtics are 18-18 on the road this season.

Ceiling: Eastern Conference Finals loss to Cavaliers in 7

Basement: 8 seed in East, swept by Cavs in Round 1


The B’s would be wise to avoid the final wild card spot in the East. That would equal a first round matchup with the scary Capitals, who have looked like world-beaters all season long. But none of the other likely playoff teams in the East are unstoppable and the Bruins have had moderate success against most of them.

They beat Tampa Bay earlier this month. They beat Florida earlier this month. And they pounded Pittsburgh in late February. The Rangers are the only team other than the Caps that pose a great threat to the B’s as Boston dropped the season series to the Blueshirts, 1-2, and their only win against them came way back in late November.

So, the relatively weak East field gives Bruins fans the idea that they could make a run this spring if everything were to line up perfectly. Plus, the Stanley Cup playoffs are the most random pro sports tournament of all.

Maybe, just maybe, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci start putting the puck in the net on a consistent basis in the next few weeks.

Ceiling: Eastern Conference Finals loss to Capitals in 7

Basement: Miss the postseason altogether

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