After going 3-2 on their most recent west coast road trip, the Celtics return home this week to begin their final stretch of games before the playoffs. While out west, the Celtics did more than win a few games-- they clinched a playoff appearance, ended the Warriors home court winning streak, said goodbye to one of their greatest opponents in Kobe Bryant.
All great achievements, but not enough for the green... and that is the best news C's fans could ask for.
Kobe: "It’s weird. Last time facing the green. But it’s been a joy to be able to go against them."— Jay King (@ByJayKing) April 4, 2016
Isaiah Thomas: “It’s a stepping stone, definitely a goal of ours to make it to the playoffs. But we definitely want more."— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) April 4, 2016
The Celtics started this week in the 4-seed, but given how tight the eastern conference standings are that could very easily change over the next few games. The C’s will face the New Orleans Pelicans and Milwaukee Bucks this week in what are must win games against two lottery bound teams.
Immediately after their mini-stint at home they will face three potential playoff opponents in Atlanta, Charlotte, and Miami. If Boston can ignite a five-game winning streak to close the regular season, they would post a 50 win season and lock up the 3-seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Despite a big improvement over the 2014-15 season and a 2015-16 full of attention grabbing victories, the Celtics are keeping their eyes focused on the road ahead. Head coach Brad Stevens spoke with the press after the C's victory over the Lakers and did so candidly about the Celtics mindset headed into the close of the season. Via Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston:
"I think that we’re fortunate enough to be in the position we are in," said Stevens. "And that’s where you want to be from the standpoint of having a chance to control your own destiny. At the same time, there’s work to do, and so we just focus on the work."
Two seasons ago, the NBA Playoffs seemed like a pipe dream. Last season, it seemed like a gift. The season, the C’s are poised to make an impact. This is all heading in the right direction.
Time to go to work.
Photo Credit: J Pat Carter/Getty ImagesPadraic O'Connor 4/05/2016 07:00:00 AM Tweet Edit