After a quality win over the Utah Jazz last night, plus the Toronto Raptors getting throttled by the Spurs, the Boston Celtics trail the Canadian dinosaur squad by just 2.5 games. By this time next week we could be looking at them locked up in the the Eastern Conference standings:
They play next Tuesday— Michael Dyer (@Mike_Dyer13) January 4, 2017
Celtics: vs 76ers, vs Pelicans
Raps: vs Utah, @ Bulls, vs Rockets
C's being 1-2 back very possible https://t.co/a2F0MPBTtc
So we have Toronto with two tough matchups plus a game against Jimmy Butler before they play the Celtics. Utah is a good team coming off a frustrating loss to the C's, and the other two games are a home/away back-to-back this weekend. I don't think Toronto losing 2 of three is too far fetched. They're 6-4 in their last 10 games and although their matchup with the C's on Tuesday is home at the Air Canada Center, I feel pretty confident with the Celtics going anyplace right now and winning that isn't named San Antonio, Cleveland, or Golden State.
The C's are hot right now - they've won 7 of their last 8 games, and Isaiah Thomas is playing the best basketball of his career. They've got a home and home back-to-back against bottom feeders Philadelphia and New Orleans between now and Tuesday, so it's likely they'll extend their winning ways heading into the contest with the Raptors. That would set up a huge matchup on Tuesday with the Celtics only trailing by a game, and if the green team can come out on top they'd be tied in the standings.
However even if that all does come to fruition, don't expect the Celtics to just run away with the division. We've already talked about the Celtics cake schedule over the next month-plus, but Toronto's isn't exactly playing world beaters over the next couple weeks after Tuesday:
With the Raptors taking one already from the Celtics in Boston back in December, next weeks game could have huge implications for home-court advantage come playoff time.
Photo Credit - Brian Babineau/Getty Images
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401 Mark Allison 1/04/2017 10:14:00 AM Tweet Edit