Following a pair of road losses at New York and Minnesota, the Celtics’ chances of improving their playoff seeding faded to the point that they may find themselves in a battle for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Boston leads eighth-place Milwaukee by just 2.5 games, and the Bucks own the tie-breaker by virtue of having won the head-to-head series 3-1. The Celtics secured their playoff spot with a win in Detroit last night, but the battle for seeding rages on.
The Celtics, in turn, are 2 games behind the Chicago Bulls for sixth place, and will likely have one last chance to catch up as they take Cleveland and Washington at home over their next two games. The question now is whether they are really concerned about improving their seeding, particularly now that home-court advantage in the first round is out of the question. As has been the case in recent seasons, Doc Rivers seems more preoccupied with having his team healthy for when the playoffs start than about rising one or two places in the standings.