BOSTON (CBS) — Nothing is set in stone, and probably won’t be until the final day of the regular season, but the Celtics’ playoff push got a big boost from their 113-103 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
The Celtics jumped into a tie for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference with Wednesday night’s win, eliminating the Pistons from contention in the process. The C’s and Brooklyn Nets (who lost to Atlanta on Wednesday) both own 36-42 records, with Boston owning the tie-breaker thanks to their 3-1 record against Brooklyn this season.
They both own a game lead over the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat for the final two playoff spots in the East. Boston also owns a potential tiebreaker over Indiana, but Miami holds the tiebreaker over Boston.
So again, nothing is set in stone with four games left to go in the regular season. Here is a look at the remaining schedules of the four teams battling for the final two playoff spots:
Friday @ Cleveland
Sunday vs. Cleveland
Tuesday vs. Toronto
Wednesday @ Milwaukee
Friday vs. Washington
Sunday @ Milwaukee
Monday vs. Chicago
Wednesday vs. Orlando
Thursday vs. Chicago
Saturday vs. Toronto
Monday vs. Orlando
Wednesday @ Philadelphia
Friday @ Detroit
Sunday vs. Oklahoma City
Tuesday vs. Washington
Wednesday @ Memphis
Boston is hoping that at least one of their two games against the Cavaliers, who locked up the two-seed on Wednesday, won’t include LeBron James and company. Boston is 0-2 against the Cavs this season, dropping a close one 122-121 in November before getting blown out 110-79 in Cleveland in early March.
As for their other two remaining opponents, the Celtics struggled against Toronto earlier in the season, dropping their first two matchups of the year. But those both losses came B.I. (Before Isaiah) and Boston pulled off a dramatic overtime win in Toronto last week to keep their playoff push alive.
The Celtics have dropped both of their games against Milwaukee, who is two games ahead of Boston for the sixth-seed. The Bucks are pretty much a lock to make the playoffs, and the Celtics should hope that Milwaukee beats Brooklyn on Sunday, likely locking up the sixth seed, and then rest their stars on the final game of the season.
The Celtics will probably have to win at least two of their final four games to make the postseason, but in that sense, they control their own fate. If they simply keeping winning, their season will continue.