With almost 60 games in the books for most NBA teams, two of the league’s most storied franchises find themselves fighting for their playoff lives.
The Celtics have ripped off an 11-4 run since losing All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, but they now enter a brutal stretch that includes road games in Indiana, Oklahoma City, Memphis and New York, as well as a game against the Heat at TD Garden and a pair of home tilts against Atlanta — which poses a tough matchup for the boys in green this year.
Though Boston currently has a hold on the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, the three teams tied for fourth place sit just two games ahead of the Celts, which should make for a frantic final two months of seed shuffling. The No. 4 seed and home-court advantage in the first round is certainly within the Celtics’ reach, but with the winner of the No.4-No.5 matchup all but assured to face Miami in the second round, a sixth or seventh seed may be in Boston’s best interest.
Over on the West Coast...