With the NBA regular season drawing to a close on Wednesday, the Boston Celtics will have to wait until then to find out their first round opponent in the NBA Playoffs will be.
The Celtics have locked down the number two seed in the Eastern Conference and are awaiting the final two games to determine their playoff opponent.
The Miami Heat (43-37), Milwaukee Bucks (43-37) and Washington Wizards (42-38) are in the midst of a heated race for the six seed and below in the East.
If the Heat can win at least one game, with the Bucks and Wizards losing at least one, they’ll own the six seed. And they’ll play either the Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers or the Indiana Pacers. But the Pacers need a lot of help to jump from five to three in the East. But that’s a story for another day.
For the Bucks, they need to win at least one game, with the Heat losing both games to jump into the sixth spot because the Heat hold the tiebreaker over the Bucks because they own the season series at 3-0.
If the Wizards win out, they’ll have sole possession of the six seed if both the Heat and Bucks lose both of their remaining games.
And if for some reason the Heat and Wizards end up tied, the Heat own the tiebreaker despite a season series tie at 2-2. So since both of them are in the Southeast Division, it’ll come down to who has a better “division won-lost percentage.” And the Heat will have the edge with an 11-5 record, for a .687 winning percentage, which is better than the Wizards .533 winning percentage.
Final Run Of Schedule For Each Team:
Miami Heat (#6 @ 43-37)
- Monday vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (#7 in West @ 46-34)
- Wednesday vs. Toronto Raptors (#1 in East @ 58-22)
Milwaukee Bucks (#7 @ 43-37)
- Monday vs. Orlando Magic (#14 in East @ 24-56)
- Wednesday at Philadelphia 76ers (#3 in East @ 50-30)
Washington Wizards (#8 @ 42-38)
- Tuesday vs. Boston Celtics (#2 in East @ 54-26)
- Wednesday at Orlando Magic (#14 in East @ 24-56)
The Wizards have a legit chance of winning out, if they can get by a depleted Celtics team because they have already beaten the Magic three times this season. So why can’t they sweep the season series, right?
There’s a chance the Heat can lose the final two against a Thunder team, who they’re 0-1 against this season and the East’s top ranked Raptors, who they’re 1-1 against on the year.
The Bucks should beat the Magic, despite being 1-1 against this year. But they have a tough opponent in the streaking 76ers, who are riding a 14-game winning streak. The Bucks do own the season series against the Sixers with a 2-1 record. So anything is possible in that Wednesday night nail biter.
Lets take a quick look at how the Celtics fared against each one of their potential playoff opponents.
The C’s won the season series against the Heat, going 2-1, while splitting at home.
The Celtics and Bucks split the season series at 2-2, and split the home and away at 1-1 each.
And lastly, the Wizards are winning the season series at 2-1, with one more game against the Celtics on Tuesday. The Wizards won both games in Boston, with one of them coming in double-overtime back in mid-March.
If the playoffs started today, the C’s would draw the Bucks in the first round. But with the final three spots up for grabs, the Celtics and Green Teamers alike, will have to wait until late Wednesday night to find out who their opponent will be come the start of the NBA Playoffs.
More On The NBA Playoffs:
The regular season ends Wednesday with a full slate of 12 games, including scheduled games for all four teams mentioned above.
Playoff rosters must be set by Friday at 3 p.m. ET, with the first round of the NBA playoffs beginning the next day, Saturday, April 14.
The conference semifinals series are scheduled for April 30/May 1 but could be moved up to April 28/April 29.
The conference finals series are scheduled for May 15/May 16 but could be moved up to May 13/May 14.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for May 31 with a Game 7 on June 17 if necessary.
UP NEXT: The Celtics (54-26) hit the road for one against the Washington Wizards (42-38) in a potential playoff preview on Tuesday 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 7:30 p.m., with tip-off set for 8:00 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.