There are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the Celtics

BY foxsports • January 12, 2016

The Boston Celtics have hit a rough patch in recent weeks, losing winnable games and blowing seemingly insurmountable leads. It's been highly discouraging for a team that entered the season with high expectations (from some), but a few statistical forecasts remain in Boston's corner despite their recent slide.

Here's ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg with a more detailed look at all the reasons why it's far too early to give up on the Celtics:

While Boston once flirted with glossy 50-win projections, the team currently forecasts at a still-encouraging 45.8 wins, the 10th best projection in the league (and sixth best in the Eastern Conference). What's more, the Celtics own an 88.1 percent chance at making the playoffs and a 23.2 percent chance at homecourt advantage in the first round. While daydreams of the No. 2 seed were fleeting, the team still projects to be in the mix in a muddled East if it can catch itself quickly.

If the playoffs started tomorrow, Boston would be on the outside looking in. But guess what? The playoffs don't start tomorrow! If they remain healthy, and Brad Stevens is able to find a suitable rotation that gets the best out of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and Kelly Olynyk, there's a good chance Boston can still make some noise this spring. 

Their defense is still incredible, and they're still in position to make a few trades before the deadline. 

Things are looking up, even though they appear on the way down.

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