Celtics playoff scenarios: Breaking down Boston’s 2021 postseason picture

·3 min read

Whether you’re adept at understanding how the NBA’s new play-in game affects the Boston Celtics’ postseason picture or totally clueless how this new wrinkle shakes up the usual way the playoffs go down, we think we can help make understanding exactly what the Celtics are looking at in this new end-of-season series designed to help make Boston’s seeding make sense.

With each win or loss potentially critical for where the Celtics will finish their season — and with it, who they will face and in what format come the postseason — we’ve put together this guide to help you make sense of Boston’s postseason situation on a game-to-game basis.

Let’s dive into what exactly the play-in tournament does first.

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The new format forces the teams in seventh and eighth place at the end of the season to fight to keep their postseason berths alive by having to defeat teams in the ninth and tenth-place positions at season's end. We'll give you an example of how that could play out by using the remaining schedule and current standings as an example. https://twitter.com/TheCelticsWire/status/1390701549681270785?s=20

Next game: At Bulls, Friday, May 7 Games remaining in the regular season: 6 Remaining schedule:

  • May 7: Bulls (11th in East), 7:30 p.m. ET

  • May 9: Heat (Seventh in East), 1 p.m. ET

  • May 11: Heat (Seventh in East), 7:30 p.m. ET

  • May 12: Cavaliers (14th in East), 8 p.m. ET

  • May 15: Timberwolves (14th in West), TBD

  • May 16: Knicks (Fourth in East), TBD


The current standings:

  • 4 - New York Knicks (37 - 29) - 8 games back

  • 5 - Atlanta Hawks (37 - 31) - 9 games back

  • 6 - Boston Celtics (35 - 31) - 10 games back

  • 7 - Miami Heat (35 - 31) - 10 games back

  • 8 - Charlotte Hornets (32 - 34) - 13 games back

  • 9 - Indiana Pacers (31 - 35) - 14 games back

  • 10 - Washington Wizards (31 - 36) - 14.5 games back

  • 11 - Chicago Bulls (27 - 39) - 18 games back


Playoff opponents if season ended today: If the Celtics were a seed lower in the No. 7 slot, they would have a one-game playoff with the No. 8 seed -- at this moment, the Charlotte Hornets. If they won, they would face the No. 2 seed in the first round of the playoffs, currently the Brooklyn Nets. If they lost that game, they would face the winner of a single-game playoff between the Nos. 9 and 10 teams in the standings at seasons end, which would be either the Indiana Pacers or Washington Wizards respectively if the season ended today. For the moment however, Boston would face the No. 3 team in the East in a more familiar postseason matchup, currently held by the Milwaukee Bucks. This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [lawrence-related id=50030,50017,49979,49980] [mm-video type=video id=01f4z56mbfjg37xysrkd playlist_id=none player_id=01eqbvq570kgj8vfs7 image=https://images2.minutemediacdn.com/image/upload/video/thumbnail/mmplus/01f4z56mbfjg37xysrkd/01f4z56mbfjg37xysrkd-c8a3c9904f2ce399ed89b86a6a417144.jpg] [listicle id=50019]



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