30 games remain on the Celtics' schedule, starting with the first game of what could arguably be the most grueling stretch of their season on Tuesday night in Denver, These next two months will constitute the stretch run for the Celts, the time of year when they make their playoff push.

It doesn't always work out that way. The 2010-2011 Celts were cruising along with the best record in the league at 41-14, having run off 14 straight wins at one point earlier in the year, before trading Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green, which resulted in a drop in the standings as opposed to a surge. Or the year before, when a 23-5 start turned into a 27-27 finish.

Both of those Celts' teams had a bigger margin for error than this one, which currently sits seventh in the Eastern Conference and, as we all know, has been decimated by injuries. Presuming the C's stand pat or at most, add depth to their bench come Thursday's trade deadline, this group will need to make some hay like last season's did in going 16-8 after the deadline.

Luckily for the Celts, outside of the defending champion Heat there are no truly legit contenders in the East. Should the C's avoid Miami in the first round, no lock by any measure, it wouldn't be terribly surprising to see them make another run come the postseason.

This isn't to say that it will be easy for the Celts once the playoffs roll around. It's not like the five teams ahead of them in the east standings not located in Miami are pushovers. It's that none of them are appreciably better than the Celts are.

So with that, let's take a look at what teams are most likely to wind up in the Eastern Conference playoff field and just how the Celtics measure up.