3 Best first round playoff scenarios for the Boston Celtics

Orlando Magic v Boston Celtics
Orlando Magic v Boston Celtics / Maddie Malhotra/GettyImages
1 of 3

The Boston Celtics have the best record in the NBA at this point and have the third-easiest remaining schedule.

While nothing is guaranteed in the NBA, they do hold a 7.5-game lead over the second-place Cleveland Cavaliers, so their chances of being the number-one team in the East are quite high. 

It doesn’t hurt to look ahead at the playoff picture and start imagining the best possible first round playoff scenarios for the Celtics. Possible matchups include the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, and Atlanta Hawks. 

Boston Celtics' Best First Round Matchups

Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks currently sit in tenth place in the East, the final Play-In spot. However, with Trae Young out for the foreseeable future, they could drop out of the Play-In entirely. If they do hang on and end up capturing the eighth and final playoff spot, the Celtics will happily be waiting for a rematch of last year's first round.

The matchup last year had some entertaining games, but ultimately, the Cs were too talented for the Hawks to handle. That would remain unchanged if a rematch were to take place. The Celtics have since become a better team in many areas, while the Hawks have seemingly regressed.

If Young were to return in time for this possible playoff match, regardless of how talented he is, there would still be rust that needs to be shaken off. Additionally, the Hawks strength comes from their backcourt duo of Young and Dejounte Murray. Unfortunately for them, they would be pitted against Derrick White and Jrue Holiday, who are more than capable of taking on that matchup. 

What the Hawks do have going for them is their high scoring offence. In their last 15 games, they averaged the most points per game at 124.1. During the course of the entire year, they’re even one spot ahead of the Celtics at fourth most points per game, 121.1. 

On the other hand, their defensive rating leaves much to be desired, which is something the Cs would take advantage of. The only two teams with a worse defensive rating than the Hawks are the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards. Yikes.

The Celtics are capable of beating themselves, which is what the Hawks would need in order to take them down in this potential first round series.