Eastern Conference seeding

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
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At this point, the Celtics seem destined for are currently sitting at the 3 seed, which results in an opening round matchup against Sixers or Pacers. However, looking at the schedule to gauge the possibility of their being able to make up the requisite 2 games in the standings:

Toronto: 21 games remaining (9 home, 12 away).
Games against winning opponents: 9; 4 home (Boston, Denver, Lakers, Bucks), 5 away (Utah, Philly, Bucks, Houston, Miami)
Others of note: home and home against Memphis.
Comments: The Lakers, Bucks, and Heat could be doing varying amount of load management during those 4 games. Will want to actually root for Philly for a couple of reasons on the day after St. Paddy's Day.

Boston: 22 games (11 home, 11 away).
Games against winning opponents: 9; 5 home (Utah, OKC, Heat, Bucks, Pacers), 4 away (Pacers, Bucks, Raptors, Heat)
Others of note: roadie against Memphis; home against Blazers
Comments: The home game against the Bucks could be a load management game for Milwaukee. The ending stretch could be tough, as they have 6 games in a row against the Magic, Pacers, Heat, and Bucks, and the first 3 teams could all be jostling for position.

Celtics tiebreakers against Raptors:

- Head-to-head: 2-1, with one huge one remaining in Toronto.
- Division winner: If they have the same record, then obviously go to the next one
- Divisional record: Toronto (8-4, with 4 remaining) has a nice cushion over Boston (7-6 with 3 remaining). That Nets loss hurts real bad here.
- Conference record: Toronto (30-10 with 12 remaining) has a lead over Boston (25-10 w/ 17 remaining), but too many remain to predict.

I don't believe it will get past this point, so not bothering with the records against playoff opponents.

EDIT: Thanks for the correction @mcpickl . I corrected the remaining games, which does make me feel better given that the Raptors will be on the road a bit more over the stretch.
 
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chilidawg

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Jan 22, 2015
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At this point, the Celtics seem destined for the 3 seed, which results in an opening round matchup against Sixers or Pacers. However, looking at the schedule to gauge the possibility of their being able to make up the requisite 2 games in the standings:

Toronto: 19 games remaining (9 home, 10 away).
Games against winning opponents: 9; 4 home (Boston, Denver, Lakers, Bucks), 5 away (Utah, Philly, Bucks, Houston, Miami)
Others of note: home and home against Memphis.
Comments: The Lakers, Bucks, and Heat could be doing varying amount of load management during those 4 games. Will want to actually root for Philly for a couple of reasons on the day after St. Paddy's Day.

Boston: 20 games (11 home, 9 away).
Games against winning opponents: 9; 5 home (Utah, OKC, Heat, Bucks, Pacers), 4 away (Pacers, Bucks, Raptors, Heat)
Others of note: roadie against Memphis; home against Blazers
Comments: The home game against the Bucks could be a load management game for Milwaukee. The ending stretch could be tough, as they have 6 games in a row against the Magic, Pacers, Heat, and Bucks, and the first 3 teams could all be jostling for position.

Celtics tiebreakers against Raptors:

- Head-to-head: 2-1, with one huge one remaining in Toronto.
- Division winner: If they have the same record, then obviously go to the next one
- Divisional record: Toronto (8-4, with 4 remaining) has a nice cushion over Boston (7-6 with 3 remaining). That Nets loss hurts real bad here.
- Conference record: Toronto (30-10 with 12 remaining) has a lead over Boston (25-10 w/ 17 remaining), but too many remain to predict.

I don't believe it will get past this point, so not bothering with the records against playoff opponents.
I'm not writing off the 2 seed yet. I think it'll really come down to that one game in Toronto. We win that and I like our chances.
 

lovegtm

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Apr 30, 2013
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I'm not writing off the 2 seed yet. I think it'll really come down to that one game in Toronto. We win that and I like our chances.
Yeah, I don't think it's over, just very disappointed that they've had two straight games with atrocious 4th quarter effort, both with 2 days rest.

At the end of the day though, I think they'll flip the switch in the playoffs based on what I've seen this year. Unfortunately they're likely to have harder matchups as a result of this regular season.
 

mcpickl

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Jul 23, 2007
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At this point, the Celtics seem destined for the 3 seed, which results in an opening round matchup against Sixers or Pacers. However, looking at the schedule to gauge the possibility of their being able to make up the requisite 2 games in the standings:

Toronto: 19 games remaining (9 home, 10 away).
Games against winning opponents: 9; 4 home (Boston, Denver, Lakers, Bucks), 5 away (Utah, Philly, Bucks, Houston, Miami)
Others of note: home and home against Memphis.
Comments: The Lakers, Bucks, and Heat could be doing varying amount of load management during those 4 games. Will want to actually root for Philly for a couple of reasons on the day after St. Paddy's Day.

Boston: 20 games (11 home, 9 away).
Games against winning opponents: 9; 5 home (Utah, OKC, Heat, Bucks, Pacers), 4 away (Pacers, Bucks, Raptors, Heat)
Others of note: roadie against Memphis; home against Blazers
Comments: The home game against the Bucks could be a load management game for Milwaukee. The ending stretch could be tough, as they have 6 games in a row against the Magic, Pacers, Heat, and Bucks, and the first 3 teams could all be jostling for position.

Celtics tiebreakers against Raptors:

- Head-to-head: 2-1, with one huge one remaining in Toronto.
- Division winner: If they have the same record, then obviously go to the next one
- Divisional record: Toronto (8-4, with 4 remaining) has a nice cushion over Boston (7-6 with 3 remaining). That Nets loss hurts real bad here.
- Conference record: Toronto (30-10 with 12 remaining) has a lead over Boston (25-10 w/ 17 remaining), but too many remain to predict.

I don't believe it will get past this point, so not bothering with the records against playoff opponents.
This is crazy. They're a game out in the loss column.

Also, you've got the games remaining wrong. Add 2 games for each team.

Everyone should just step away from their computers/phones for at least 12 hours after a bad loss.
 

lexrageorge

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This is crazy. They're a game out in the loss column.

Also, you've got the games remaining wrong. Add 2 games for each team.

Everyone should just step away from their computers/phones for at least 12 hours after a bad loss.
Mea culpa. Corrected above.
 

CreedBratton

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Regardless the 2 seed is beyond imperative. You get the magic/nets & homecourt against the raps who just battled the sixers. You get the 3 & it’s very possible they lose big time to Philly or you survive & have TO with homecourt. Gotta get that 2 seed.
 

lovegtm

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This is crazy. They're a game out in the loss column.

Also, you've got the games remaining wrong. Add 2 games for each team.

Everyone should just step away from their computers/phones for at least 12 hours after a bad loss.
They clearly can get the 2 seed. It’s just hard to catch a team like Toronto when you lose the games against bad teams—there are a decent number of losses like that that are already booked for us now.
 

the moops

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They clearly can get the 2 seed. It’s just hard to catch a team like Toronto when you lose the games against bad teams—there are a decent number of losses like that that are already booked for us now.
2 of Toronto's last 4 losses have come against Charlotte and Brooklyn. Every team has some bad losses
 

lovegtm

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2 of Toronto's last 4 losses have come against Charlotte and Brooklyn. Every team has some bad losses
That sounds like a sophisticated, calm take. Let’s see how it holds up to data:

Toronto is 21-1 vs bottom 10 teams (+13.4) and 18-6 vs middle 10 (+6.2).

Boston is 21-3 (+9.7) and 10-9 (+4.2), respectively, against the same groups.

I think the Celtics are a better team and have a higher ceiling, but, your 2 recent data points notwithstanding, the Raptors have absolutely taken care of business better against the bottom of the league.
 

BaseballJones

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That sounds like a sophisticated, calm take. Let’s see how it holds up to data:

Toronto is 21-1 vs bottom 10 teams (+13.4) and 18-6 vs middle 10 (+6.2).

Boston is 21-3 (+9.7) and 10-9 (+4.2), respectively, against the same groups.

I think the Celtics are a better team and have a higher ceiling, but, your 2 recent data points notwithstanding, the Raptors have absolutely taken care of business better against the bottom of the league.
I know you guys are specifically talking about losses to bad teams....

But then by arithmetic, the Celtics have gone 11-7 against the top teams, while Toronto has gone 4-11 against the top teams.

Tor (43-18, .705)
- vs top teams: 4-11 (.267)
- vs mid teams: 18-6 (.750)
- vs bot teams: 21-1 (.955)

Bos (42-19, .689)
- vs top teams: 11-7 (.611)
- vs mid teams: 10-9 (.526)
- vs bot teams: 21-3 (.875)

In the playoffs, they'll only be facing mid and top teams.
 

lovegtm

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I know you guys are specifically talking about losses to bad teams....

But then by arithmetic, the Celtics have gone 11-7 against the top teams, while Toronto has gone 4-11 against the top teams.

Tor (43-18, .705)
- vs top teams: 4-11 (.267)
- vs mid teams: 18-6 (.750)
- vs bot teams: 21-1 (.955)

Bos (42-19, .689)
- vs top teams: 11-7 (.611)
- vs mid teams: 10-9 (.526)
- vs bot teams: 21-3 (.875)

In the playoffs, they'll only be facing mid and top teams.
Absolutely. Hence the part where I said
lovegtm said:
I think the Celtics are a better team and have a higher ceiling
The Celtics have been really, really strong all year against good teams, and have also lost enough games to mediocre/bad ones that they're looking at a harder road in the playoffs (although they absolutely could still get the #2 seed).

I think the Celtics have a lot more in common with the Clippers (for better and worse) than they do with the Heat, Raptors, Nuggets type teams.
 

BaseballJones

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Absolutely. Hence the part where I said

The Celtics have been really, really strong all year against good teams, and have also lost enough games to mediocre/bad ones that they're looking at a harder road in the playoffs (although they absolutely could still get the #2 seed).

I think the Celtics have a lot more in common with the Clippers (for better and worse) than they do with the Heat, Raptors, Nuggets type teams.
It will be nice to see what Boston can do with a fully healthy roster, should such a thing ever come into existence. I absolutely think they can be a threat to Milwaukee (and whoever emerges from the West).
 

mcpickl

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They clearly can get the 2 seed. It’s just hard to catch a team like Toronto when you lose the games against bad teams—there are a decent number of losses like that that are already booked for us now.
Sure. It's going to be hard to catch Toronto because Toronto is also really good.

But that's a ways off from the (at this point, the Celtics seem destined for the 3 seed) take I responded to.
 

NomarsFool

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Dec 21, 2001
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Given our injury problems, it would be really, really nice to have a quick first round series (and therefore extra rest) than having a very physical series with Philadelphia.
 

lexrageorge

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Oof. Time to update the post below. Still a ways to go, but it's now an uphill bottle.

At this point, the Celtics seem destined for are currently sitting at the 3 seed, which results in an opening round matchup against Sixers or Pacers. However, looking at the schedule to gauge the possibility of their being able to make up the requisite 2 games in the standings:

Toronto: 18 games remaining (9 home, 9 away).
Games against winning opponents: 8; 4 home (Boston, Denver, Lakers, Bucks), 4 away (Utah, Philly, Bucks, Houston, Miami)
Others of note: home and home against Memphis.
Comments: The Lakers, Bucks, and Heat could be doing varying amount of load management during those 4 games. Will want to actually root for Philly for a couple of reasons on the day after St. Paddy's Day.

Boston: 19 games (9 home, 10 away).
Games against winning opponents: 7; 3 home (Utah, OKC, Heat, Bucks, Pacers), 4 away (Pacers, Bucks, Raptors, Heat)
Others of note: roadie against Memphis; home against Blazers
Comments: The home game against the Bucks could be a load management game for Milwaukee. The ending stretch could be tough, as they have 6 games in a row against the Magic, Pacers, Heat, and Bucks, and the first 3 teams could all be jostling for position.

Celtics tiebreakers against Raptors:

- Head-to-head: 2-1, with one huge one remaining in Toronto.
- Division winner: If they have the same record, then obviously go to the next one
- Divisional record: Toronto (8-4, with 4 remaining) has a nice cushion over Boston (7-6 with 3 remaining). That Nets loss hurts real bad here.
- Conference record: Toronto (30-10 with 12 remaining) has a lead over Boston (26-10 w/ 16 remaining), but too many remain to predict.

I don't believe it will get past this point, so not bothering with the records against playoff opponents.

EDIT: Thanks for the correction @mcpickl . I corrected the remaining games, which does make me feel better given that the Raptors will be on the road a bit more over the stretch.
Making up 3 games will be an uphill battle. Boston has a slightly easier schedule, but losing 3 of 4 at home really set them back. Capturing the #2 is still doable if the Celtics can win that game in Toronto; almost impossible otherwise.

And, while we're at it, Miami is only 2 games back in the loss column:

Miami: 18 games (10 home, 8 away).
Games against winning opponents: 8; 5 home (OKC, Denver, Pacers, Boston, Raptors), 3 away (Bucks, Pacers, Boston, )
Others of note: none
Comments: That Raptors game could be meaningless to one of the two teams, so wouldn't want to rely on that game for a particular outcome. Only the Sixers and Bucks have a better home record than Heat's 27-4, and they have a nice slate of home games remaining.

Celtics tiebreakers against Heat:

- Head-to-head: 2-0, with 2 remaining. Celtics must win at least one.
- Division winner: Miami has their division locked up. So if the Celtics and Heat are vying for the 3/4, this will automatically go Miami barring some unexpected collapse by Toronto.
- Conference record: Miami (28-9 with 15 remaining) has a lead over Boston (26-10 w/ 16 remaining), but too many remain to predict. Unlikely to be meaningful.
 
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NomarsFool

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It's really a shame they have squandered so many games lately. The OKC game was won. All they had to do was inbound the ball and hold onto it (or get fouled and make the free throws). The Nets game was won, pretty much. All they had to do was foul Brooklyn NOT in the act of shooting, and the game would have been over. The Houston game was obviously winnable - but that game I give them a pass on. It was a tight game against a really good team. You could say the same thing about OKC, but I'm less forgiving on that one.