Shortly after last night's games ended, the NBA released the schedule for the playoffs, which are set to start on Saturday. Our beloved Celtics are set to begin their playoff journey in Atlanta on Saturday night at 7:00 PM. Even with last night's amazing comeback win against Miami, the Celts unfortunately still ended up without home-court advantage. As the 5th seed, they face an Atlanta Hawks team that has given them trouble all year long.
ESPN's Basketball Power Index released an outlook on the matchup and each teams' chances to win the series:
With the benefit of a full 82-game season, how ESPN's Basketball Power Index forecasts Celtics-Hawks. pic.twitter.com/RGONXYJLdZ— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) April 14, 2016
Interestingly, the Hawks are favored in the series and ESPN gives them a 22% chance of winning the series in seven games and an 18% chance of winning it in five. For the Celts, the odds are a bit tougher with ESPN giving them a 17% of winning the series in six and 11% chance of winning in seven.
For Game One, the Celtics have already been named as underdogs to win on Saturday night:
Celtics open as four-point underdogs on Saturday in Atlanta.— Rich Levine (@rich_levine) April 14, 2016
Without home-court advantage, I think I speak for all Celtics fans when I say that Game One is almost a "must-win" game for us. Splitting the first two games in Atlanta should be the goal but getting a win in Game One would be a big statement and momentum shift for the Celts, who have struggled this year in Atlanta. A win on Saturday night would also put a world of pressure on Atlanta in Game Two. Ultimately, I think the Celtics would've liked to have had home-court, but I am still confident that they can win this series in six or seven games. It won't be easy given the matchup with Atlanta, but we should come out on the winning side of things.
Image Credit: Boston Celtics Twitter
Follow Kevin Yazhari on Twitter @KevKevYazhari Kevin Yazhari 4/14/2016 01:22:00 PM Tweet Edit