Danny Ainge readies his explanation. (Jim Davis/The Boston Globe/Getty Images)There have been plenty of surprises in the Eastern Conference through the first six weeks of the 2013-14 NBA season, but you wouldn't characterize very many of them as "pleasant." Amid near-daily news of New York chaos and expanding Chicago injury reports, though, there has been one heartwarming ray of sunshine — the Boston Celtics, who entered the season with a freshman head coach, an injured All-Star, hardly any players you've ever heard of and an expectation of being just about the worst NBA team money could buy. Instead, they find themselves sitting atop the Atlantic Division after 24 games.
You can chalk that up in part to the overarching disrepair of the Eastern Conference in general and the specific putridity of the Atlantic. Even if they're facing a bunch of losers, though, the Celtics still have to win. That they've done so as often as they have (if, at 10-14, not quite as often as they've lost) stands as a testament to first-year head coach Brad Stevens, lead assistant RonRead More »from Celtics boss Danny Ainge: ‘Making the playoffs is not a goal. I need to explain that a little bit’