With 14 games remaining for the injury plagued Boston Celtics, the C’s magic playoff number to lock down the number two spot in the East is eight.
Over the final stretch of the season, the Celtics need to win at least eight of their remaining 14 games to remain in the number two spot in the Eastern Conference heading into the NBA Playoffs.
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Right now the Indiana Pacers are 6.5 games back of the Celtics, with 13 games to play. Of those 13 games, six are against playoff bound teams and three are against teams fighting for a spot in the big dance.
The Pacers still have a pair of games to play against the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and the Charlotte Hornets.
As for the Celtics, six of their remaining 14 games are against teams that are destined for the playoffs and two are against teams fighting to get in.
The Celtics have the New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers, and Washington Wizards still on deck. Plus they still have a pair of games to play against the Toronto Raptors, who are riding a 10-game winning streak and sit atop the East, five games ahead of the C’s.
There’s still a possibility the Celtics can squeeze into the top spot in the East, but they would need a ton of help from the Raptors and their remaining 13 opponents, which includes the Celtics, twice.
Of the C’s 14 remaining games, five are at home (23-13) and nine are on the road (23-9), including a four-game West Coast road trip during the last week of March.
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And even if the Cleveland Cavaliers, who sit in fourth in East (12.0 GB of the Raptors, 7.0 GB of Celtics), win out and the Celtics cover their end, the Cavs still wouldn’t jump the C’s for the number two spot in the East. The same could be said for the Washington Wizards, who sit only a half-game back of the Cavaliers in the five hole.
The last couple of weeks haven’t been easy on the Celtics, losing the likes of Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis and others for various periods of time. But they’ve found a way to piece together a 2-2 record over their last four games.
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This weekend the Celtics will play back-to-back roads game on Friday and Sunday night against the Orlando Magic and the New Orleans Pelicans, respectively.
UP NEXT: The Celtics (45-22) will hit the road for a two-game trip with the Orlando Magic (21-48) up first on Friday night. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell, live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:30 p.m., with tip-off set for 7:00 p.m.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com
John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at email@example.com.