BOSTON - What has pretty much been a foregone conclusion since the beginning of the season has now been confirmed altogether. The Boston Celtics are going to the post-season this year!
Granted, it was a bit obvious when you consider the hot start they had back in October and the fact that the Eastern Conference is significantly weaker (the Orlando Magic and the Brooklyn Nets are competing for the seventh seed with .462 and .469 winning percentages, respectively), but it is still great to have confirmation all the same.
After all, just because it is routine for the Celtics to clinch playoff spots, that does not mean that everyone on the roster is accustomed to it. New point guard Kemba Walker floundered for years with the Charlotte Hornets and there is no doubt that he will be excited to participate in extra basketball play, so long as he can stay healthy.
This is the sixth consecutive season that the Celtics have secured themselves a spot in the playoffs and, for my money, this is their best shot yet at the NBA Finals. Yes, the gauntlet is stacked with players like Pascal Siakam and Giannis Antetokounmpo. But the Celtics have never had chemistry like this. If Gordon Hayward can rebound into a crunch time player again fully and Walker stays healthy, this Celtics team could go far. Jayson Tatum is poised to be a major X-factor in the East, after all.
The Celtics clinched their playoff spot with a 114-111 victory over the Indiana Pacers that saw them hold onto a lead they almost squandered away. Tatum led the charge for Boston with another 30 point game.
Currently, the Celtics are slotted into the three seed with their 43-21 record. They are three games behind the Toronto Raptors for the coveted second seed, but it does seem to be slipping away. With 18 games remaining on the season, Boston will have to go on an insane run to catch Toronto. If not, they are currently projected to face off against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round. With about a month left, though, anything can change.
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