BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics are one win away from clinching their spot in the NBA playoffs.
Thanks to Toronto’s win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night, the 45-win Celtics can secure a spot in the postseason with a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night. If they can’t beat the Wolves on Thursday, Boston will clinch with the next Pistons’ loss (Detroit hosts the Chicago Bulls on Friday).
Basically, the Celtics will be a playoff team within the next few days. When it happens, it will be the fourth straight trip to the playoffs for Boston and head coach Brad Stevens.
The Raptors became the first team to clinch a postseason berth in the NBA with their victory on Wednesday. They currently sit 2.5 games ahead of the Celtics in the Eastern Conference standings and three games ahead in the loss column.
It looks like the Celtics and Raptors will battle for the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference over the final five weeks of the regular season, with Boston sitting 6.5 games ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the standings. Boston and Toronto will play each other twice over the final three weeks, matchups that could determine who heads into the playoffs as the top seed in the East.