BOSTON (CBS) – When the Celtics began their toughest stretch of the season with back-t0-back loses, things were not looking good with the playoffs right around the corner.
But following up the loses to San Antonio and Chicago with a pair of wins on back-to-back nights over Indiana and Philadelphia has the Celtics feeling very confident.
“What better time than this time of the year to have everyone getting confident,” Celtics captain Paul Pierce said after their 103-79 win over Philadelphia on Sunday night. “We’re beating good teams, we know we can play with anybody in the Eastern Conference.”
And they’ll have to do just that over the final 10 games of the season. After a day off on Monday, the Celtics have another tough back-to-back with the Heat in Miami on Tuesday and Atlanta Hawks in Boston on Wednesday. Over the weekend, they play three games in three days, although all against less opponents.
It’s a tough stretch for the Celtics, but one their captain has been ready for since the season began in December.
Pierce On Upcoming Stretch:
“Oh yeah, I’ve looked at this since the schedule came out,” Pierce said. “It doesn’t get any easier of course. You go to Miami, you come home and play Atlanta, then you got three in a row; it’s tough. Every team in the league has to deal with it, unfortunately we got to deal with it at the end of the season when teams seem to be winding down, getting tired legs. But maybe it’s good for us, because it seems like we are playing our best basketball right now in this crucial stretch.”
The Celtics currently sit two games ahead of both the New York Knicks and Sixers for the Atlantic Division, which would secure at least the four-seed – and home court advantage for at least one round — in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. They trail the Pacers by two games for the three-seed in the East.