The Celtics clearly don’t care what seed they get in the playoffs, and Doc Rivers openly admits as much. “It doesn’t matter who we face in the second round or the third round or the finals,” he said before Friday’s loss, “because that means we’d be there. You hear people around the league talking about who they want to play, or don’t, but the first seeds, you never hear them talk about that. You may not be a first seed, but you have to think like one.”
The Celtics won’t be a first seed, and they won’t be a second seed either. But the third seed, which is still up for grabs (Boston trails Atlanta by one game, but holds the tiebreaker should the two teams share the same record), could still be Boston’s. It’s either that, or the fourth seed.
Almost definitely, at either the third or fourth seed, Boston will play either the Milwaukee Bucks or Miami Heat. Right now, the Bucks hold a one-game lead ahead of Miami for the fifth seed, as well as the tiebreaker should the two teams tie. It’s looking like Boston will get the fourth seed, behind Atlanta, and play Milwaukee in the first round. Chris Forsberg has more analysis, and here are the standings.
|2||Orlando||56||23||.709||4 ½||33-7||23-16||10-6||36-13||102.3||95.1||+7.3||Won 3||8-2|
|3||Atlanta||50||29||.633||10 ½||33-7||17-22||7-8||29-20||101.6||97.2||+4.4||Won 1||5-5|
|4||Boston||49||30||.620||11 ½||24-16||25-14||13-3||32-17||99.3||95.4||+3.8||Lost 1||4-6|
|5||Milwaukee||45||34||.570||15 ½||28-11||17-23||10-6||30-19||97.7||95.8||+1.9||Won 4||6-4|
|6||Miami||44||35||.557||16 ½||23-17||21-18||9-7||29-20||96.2||94.2||+2.1||Lost 1||9-1|
|7||Charlotte||42||37||.532||18 ½||30-9||12-28||10-6||25-24||95.2||93.7||+1.5||Lost 1||7-3|
|8||Toronto||38||41||.481||22 ½||24-15||14-26||10-5||27-22||103.8||105.9||-2.1||Lost 4||3-7|
|Chicago||38||41||.481||22 ½||23-17||15-24||10-6||25-24||97.3||99.5||-2.1||Lost 1||6-4|