The Boston Celtics must focus on five games down the stretch to secure a favorable playoff seed.
With emerging star Jae Crowder sidelined for the foreseeable future, the Boston Celtics have started to free fall in the East. Just days ago, the Celtics sat comfortably in third place, only behind Cleveland and Toronto., however, three straight losses have resulted in a quick decline in Boston’s playoff seed and proverbial stock.
The Celtics now find themselves at fourth place in the East and have an identical win/loss record to both the Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets. Brad Stevens and the Celtics surely see the gridlock in the middle of the standings as both an opportunity and a threat to their ultimate goal.
With a mere half a game separating third and sixth place in the East, each of the Celtics remaining 14 games is profoundly important. While a single loss may be the difference between a game seven at TD Garden or an Eastern Conference foe’s home court, there are five specific games that seem to pop out on the Celtics schedule.
Here are the current NBA Eastern Conference standings:
- Cleveland Cavaliers: 48-19
- Toronto Raptors: 46-21
- Atlanta Hawks: 40-29
- Boston Celtics: 39-29
- Charlotte Hornets: 39-29
- Miami Heat: 39-29
- Indiana Pacers: 36-32
- Chicago Bulls: 34-33
Clearly the third seed in the East is up for grabs, and here are the five games the Celtics must win down the stretch to secure that favorable spot.