The NBA's most-decorated team avoided the biggest playoff collapse in league history and earned a chance to hang an unprecedented 18th championship banner from the rafters.
Paul Pierce had 31 points and 13 rebounds, and little-used backup Nate Robinson gave the Celtics a boost with 13 second-quarter points as Boston beat the Orlando Magic 96-84 on Friday night, earning a chance to play for a second NBA title in three years.
HoopsVibe's Quick Call: Defense wins championships. Or in the case of the Boston Celtics, defense wins the Eastern Conference crown.
Flashback to mid season and the green-and-white were presumed dead. The Big Three was deemed too old and critics thought Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins weren't capable of filling the void.
Well, they proved us wrong. All of us.
The Celtics defied the odds because they get stops, even on the road, which gives them a chance in every game and series. Offensively, they spread the wealth with many different players capable of carrying the load or providing a spark.
For instance, in the second quarter of tonight's contest, tiny Nate Robinson chipped in with 13 points to give Boston a commanding lead, despite barely seeing the court in the playoffs.
And if the Celtics continue defending they could well win their eighteenth championship.
Has Boston surprised you? Why? Why not? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.