The Boston Celtics appear to be locked into a playoff spot as they currently sit seven and a half games ahead of the Toronto Raptors for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference standings. They only sit a game and a half ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth seed. The Celtics will most likely have to play either the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, or the New York Knicks in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Which team would head coach Doc Rivers prefer to play?
A friend of mine raised an interesting point not too long ago. When assessing the Celtics preferred team to play, he said the Heat. At first it seemed crazy, but thinking about it more, it actually makes a ton of sense. Instead of having to grind out a six or seven game series with the previously mentioned teams, the Celtics get Miami first when they will have fresher legs. In last year’s playoffs, the Celtics had long series with both the Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers that clearly took their toll on them. They played almost a month worth of games before having to face Miami. It’s obviously not a guarantee that they would have beaten the Heat if they played right away, but they certainly would have had more pep in their steps than playing them in the Eastern Conference Finals.
If the Eastern Conference truly does go through Miami, the Celtics are much better off playing them early this time around.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news go to the team homepage on Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @rlunder18