The Celtics' recent six-game winning streak reframed the conversation around the group and moved them up in the standings.
The Celtics have actually won 8 of their last10 Have the Hawks, who hold the tiebreaker and a half-game lead in the standings as of Tuesday night, and the Knicks– who are just a video game behind– have actually won 7 of their last10
So can the Celtics declare the No. 4 seed? Potentially.
Monday's loss might set the Celtics up for a three-game losing streak– their next two games are versus the Suns and the Internet. If the Hawks beat the Knicks and/or the Heat in their next two games after Tuesday's match with the Magic, they have a chance to put some range between themselves and the Celtics.
If the Celtics can split against the Suns and Nets, however (or perhaps win both), the conversation shifts.
The Celtics' two most tough games remaining are their next 2. As evidenced by Monday's game, none of those are particular wins (specifically if health problems persist), but the Celtics have actually played well against inferior teams just recently.
The Hawks, meanwhile, have a difficult roadway ahead. They still have 2 games versus the Philadelphia 76 ers– who are competing with the Brooklyn Webs for the one seed– in addition to contests against the Bucks, Suns, and Blazers.
Even the Hawks' simple video games may not be a cakewalk. They face both the Pacers and Bulls, who are still in contention for the play-in game, and they have 2 video games versus the Wizards, who have actually won 7 of their last 10.
The Knicks are connected with the Celtics, while the Heat trail by a video game. The Celtics actually can't manage to fall off.
However the Knicks have a brutal schedule that consists of 2 video games versus the Suns and one each against the Clippers and Nuggets. Miami's fate versus the Celtics, on the other hand, might be decided when they face each other back to back on May 9 and 11, and both of those games are in Boston.
The Celtics are more worried about keeping their gamers healthy for the postseason, given that gamer availability will play a much bigger role in their success than home-court benefit in the preliminary.
” We will not prioritize our seed over our players' health, that's for sure,” Brad Stevens stated in April.
Still, the Celtics would definitely like to stay home for their very first series if they can, and they have an opportunity to do so. If they keep some semblance of health when Evan Fournier returns, the last 14 video games could be a chance for the Celtics to construct some momentum down the stretch.
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