The Celtics are off to the second round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, where they will square off against the winner of the first-round series between the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls.
And you may not have to wait long for the Celtics to get back to work.
With Milwaukee up three games to one over the Bulls, and with the series set to resume Wednesday night in Milwaukee, it’s entirely possible that the second-round showdown is set in time for a weekend start. Boston will have homecourt advantage in the second round, too, as the No. 2 seed over the No. 3 seed Bucks or No. 6 Bulls, and with TD Garden relatively vacant fo the Green.
Open for the weekend as the Bruins wrap up their regular season home schedule Thursday night against the Sabres — and with the Bruins slated to begin the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs on the road beginning as early as May 2 — the Celtics would not run into a schedule conflict of any sort until May 5. (The Bruins, for what it’s worth, are expected to play home games 3 and 4 of their first-round series with an opponent TBD on May 6 and May 8, but that’s yet to be finalized.)
And according to MassLive’s Brian Robb, an early wrap from the Bucks on Wednesday would set the sides up for a Game 1 at the Garden on Saturday night, while a six-game finish could see things start on Sunday. Should the Bucks and Bulls go the distance, a Tuesday night start would become the likely start, according to Robb.
Should the Celtics play the Bucks, the sides will renew their rivalry after a regular season series split at 2-2, and with the Bucks likely without Khris Middleton to begin the series.
The Bulls, meanwhile, will need to rattle off three straight wins, which would push their first-round series with the Bucks through May 1 and then take on a C’s squad that beat ’em in two of their three head-to-heads in 2021-22.
In the meantime, the Celtics will happily take the extra rest after a four-game sweep that required a heavier 94-foot effort than most first-round sweeps this time of year.
“It’s huge,” Jayson Tatum said of the break between the first and second round. “Obviously, more time for Rob [Williams] and then myself [and] everybody. This was a very taxing four games, you know? It took everything on both ends of the floor. So getting these five or six days off are going to be very beneficial for everybody.”
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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has been covering the Bruins since 2010, and has been a member of the Boston chapter of the PHWA since 2013. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.