SALT LAKE CITY — The Celtics officially make it to the NBA Playoffs even though they lost to the Jazz on Saturday. The Heat’s loss to the Bulls meant the Celtics would finish, at minimum, in the top 6 in the East. But that’s where the good news ends for the C’s at the moment.
“It’s hard to win in this league,” Jayson Tatum said. “So never take anything for granted. It’s not the ultimate goal, but it’s a stepping stone on the path you have to take to do what we’re trying to do. Six straight playoff appearances for me, I will never take that for granted.
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After the Celtics were unable to complete a win in record time against the Jazz, they fell to 49-23 this season. First and foremost, there are only 10 regular season games left with the playoffs in about a month. The Celtics have been struggling lately, so time is running out to make sure everything is fixed.
When it comes to rankings, however, they lack a margin of error. The C’s fell to a virtual tie with the Sixers. But the Celtics are actually percentage points behind the Sixers 48-22. That doesn’t include the fact that the Sixers and Celtics are two games behind the Bucks, who are 50-20.
Luckily for the Celtics, they’re 4.5 games above fourth-place, 45-28 Cavaliers. So there is some wiggle room to drop in the standings, but it will be important for the Cs to get the best possible seed for the playoffs.
Taking a look at the bottom of the standings, it becomes clearer who the Celtics could face in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. The Nets are sixth, the Heat seventh, the Hawks eighth, the Raptors ninth and the Bulls 10th. So there are still moving parts – especially where the Celtics end up – but those teams could wait for Boston in the first round.
Either way, the Celtics will be looking to take care of business. They have a tough game against the Kings on Tuesday as Sacramento has been one of the most pioneering teams in the league. But the C’s need to start racking up wins if they’re going to have any chance of climbing the playoff standings.
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