How surprising is the Celtics'
current title run?

Updated: May 29, 2002, 1:43 PM ET
By by Khalid El-Bayoumy, STATS. Inc.
Entering the 2001-02 campaign, you would have been hard-pressed to find anyone outside of Boston who thought the Celtics had a legitimate shot of making it all the way to the NBA Finals this year. Even New Englanders, who still are basking in the glow of an unexpected NFL championship, likely would have been satisfied if their basketball team simply would have played well enough to qualify for the postseason.

But seven months later, Boston is just two wins away from competing for the NBA championship, after failing to make it to the playoffs in each of the past six seasons. If the Celtics can go on to defeat the top-seeded Nets for the Eastern Conference crown, they would tie the 1976-77 Trail Blazers at the top of the list of teams with the most consecutive years missing the playoffs before advancing to the Finals in the following season.