With 2 games left in the NBA regular season, I think its time to talk about the playoffs.
So far the Celtics have locked up the 4th seed in the East, but still have the task of securing home court for the first round of the playoffs. While Doc Rivers would prefer to have health over home court, it may be important to have the advantage at home.
The Celtics will take on the Atlanta Hawks, the only question is, where will Game 1 be?
Home court will be crucial. The Atlanta Hawks are just too dangerous, even without Al Horford. They are young, athletic, and have the depth to contend with the Celtics. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hawks make it a 7 game series. While I think the Celtics will advance to the 2nd round, playing a team like the Hawks could zap some energy out of the them.
After seeing how the seeding has turned out, I couldn’t help but think about the 1st round series in 2008 when the Celtics took on the Atlanta Hawks. I really think that we may see the same thing like we saw 5 years ago. Their nucleus is still intact, and when you’re facing a team with Josh Smith and Joe Johnson, there is always the possibility of an upset.
While most Celtics have pretty much written the Hawks out of this series, I’ll remain cautious. The Celtics have played better in the month of April and their experience gives them a huge advantage, but when you face a team with youth and athleticism, sometimes that can be just enough to beat a battle tested team.
For my first round prediction, I think the Celtics will win in 5 if they have home court advantage, or in 6 games if they start out on the road.
Like I said last year, this may be the last post season in the Big 3 era, so let’s enjoy the last chance for Banner 18 with this current roster. So let’s go Celtics, and let’s get Banner 18!