Celtics jockeying for playoff placement in finale vs. Grizzlies

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A match essential to the Eastern Conference playoff landscape closes out the routine season on Sunday with the Memphis Grizzlies hosting the Boston Celtics.

For Boston (50-31), Sunday’s result could be the distinction between finishing as high as 2nd in the East or as low as fourth. The Celtics as well as the Philly 76ers have matching documents going into the final day, as well as both are one video game behind the reigning NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks.

The Sixers host the Detroit Pistons, while the Bucks go to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Boston had a prime possibility to move into the driver’s seat for the East’s 2nd place before giving up a fourth-quarter lead in a 127-121 loss at Milwaukee on Thursday.

Jayson Tatum and also Al Horford missed out on Thursday’s competition, which was the 2nd half of a back-to-back set after a 117-94 thrashing of Chicago. Neither appeared on the team’s injury report Saturday.

Marcus Smart lugged the scoring tons by going 7-of-12 from 3-point range en route to completed with 29 factors at Milwaukee.

” That right there alone speaks for itself,” Smart stated. “We played a great team and we didn’t have everyone, and we still provided a run for their money and virtually won it.”

The Celtics own tiebreakers over both Milwaukee and Philadelphia, and also thus can climb to No. 2 with a sway the Grizzlies and a Bucks loss. A Boston victory assures it no worse than No. 3. A Sixers win over a lowly Pistons group and a Milwaukee win integrated with a Celtics loss delegates Boston to No. 4.

The Grizzlies (56-25) come into Sunday’s competition having actually secured the No. 2 seed in the Western Seminar. After recording a 141-114 skip over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, however, Memphis is not without a goal in the regular-season finale– another win sets the franchise mark for Memphis’ ideal regular-season document.

Ja Morant gathered 21 points as well as 9 assists in his return from a nine-game absence because of a knee injury. While the Grizzlies had actually locked up their playoff position, coach Taylor Jenkins stated that he saw this as an opportunity to obtain Morant back into kind for the playoffs.

” It’s difficult to obtain 10 NBA bodies available to replicate games for him,” Jenkins said. “The physicality, the rate, it’s a wonderful tune-up. Your natural ramp-up of 1-on-1, 3-on-3, 5-on-5, but nothing replaces NBA video games.”

Morant is balancing 27.6 factors per game, but the Grizzlies’ violation continued to hum in his lack. Memphis published 122 factors or more in 6 of the nine games Morant missed, consisting of an April 1 victory over a Phoenix az Suns group with the NBA’s finest document.

Dillon Brooks scored 30 factors in the 122-114 win, which was Memphis’ last before Saturday’s blowout of the Pelicans. On Saturday, the Grizzlies posted a 55-point third quarter in among the group’s most outstanding trips of a period in which it rates 3rd in the NBA in racking up infraction.

” When we obtain that sphere humming and everybody eats … I do not know if we’re mosting likely to rack up 55 every quarter but you can actually be effective,” Jenkins stated.

Going into the final day of the NBA regular period, the Celtics can still end up in any one of 3 playoff seeds and have six prospective first-round playoff challengers.

Boston is 50-31 going into the regular-season finale, good for the No. 3 place in the Eastern Seminar. The Celtics trail the Bucks for the No. 2 seed by one video game while the 76ers amounted to the Celtics’ record following their gain the Pacers on Saturday.

As the Bucks, Celtics, and 76ers jockey for the No. 2-4 seeds in the East and four groups arrange themselves in the play-in places, there are only 3 groups uncompromising in playoff seeding going into Video game 82. The Warmth have the meeting’s leading place, providing home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Meeting playoffs. The Raptors secured the No. 5 seed on Friday following their sway the Firecrackers, which suggests the Bulls are secured right into the No. 6 seed.

For the play-in groups (No. 7-10 in the seminar), the Webs, Cavaliers, Hawks, as well as Hornets are all within a video game of each other.

Right here’s every feasible seed the Celtics could hold and also every feasible opponent they might have in the first round.

How the Celtics could get the No. 2 seed.
Celtics gain the Grizzlies and also Bucks loss to the Cavaliers.
If the Celtics desire the highest possible seed feasible, they’ll require some assistance. Before their game tips off in Memphis at 7 p.m., the Celtics will need the Cavaliers to defeat the Dollars in your home. That video game pointers at 3:30 p.m., so the Celtics will understand if their hopes of getting the No. 2 seed or otherwise are still alive approximately a hr before they take the court on Sunday.

The good news is for the Celtics, the Cavaliers have something to play for on Sunday. If they win, they’ll clinch the No. 8 seed or much better, which indicates they’ll just have to win one of the play-in video games rather than two in order to get to the playoffs. On the flip side though, Cleveland has actually battled since late. It has actually lost eight of its last 10 games as All-Star center Jarrett Allen has actually been out with a broken finger. The Cavaliers did obtain rookie professional onward Evan Mobley back on Friday after he missed out on 5 video games, however they still shed to the Nets.

The Bucks followed up their Thursday win over the Celtics with a knocking down sway the Pistons on Friday. Milwaukee detailed celebrities Giannis Antetokounmpo as well as Khris Middleton plus Creek Lopez and also Bobby Portis as uncertain for Sunday, possibly unlocking for the Celtics to glide into No. 2. The Celtics have not shared if any individual will relax yet in Sunday’s game. Jayson Tatum and Al Horford both sat out Thursday’s game.

Exactly how the Celtics could get the No. 3 seed.
Celtics win and Dollars win OR
Celtics loss and 76ers loss to the Pistons
Just how the Celtics could get the No. 4 seed.
Celtics loss and 76ers win.
A Celtics win on Sunday would assure them a minimum of the No. 3 seed via a sudden death by virtue of having a far better local record than the 76ers.

But if they lose to the Grizzlies, who can have celebrity point guard Ja Morant back in the lineup, they’ll require some aid to continue to be in among the top three seeds. The 76ers organize the Pistons on Sunday at the same time the Celtics play the Grizzlies, so there will certainly be some in-game scoreboard enjoying to see just how things can shake out.

Even if the Grizzlies don’t play Morant, they’ll be a tough beat. Memphis is 20-4 without its super star this period, a huge reason it has currently secured the No. 2 seed in the Western Meeting. While the Grizzlies don’t have anything to play for on Sunday, they could decide to play Morant to aid rev him up for the playoffs after missing out on the last 9 video games. They face the Blazers later Saturday, so they can share their plans for Sunday shortly afterwards video game.

As for Philly, head train Doc Rivers didn’t share exactly how his team will approach the final game of the period complying with Saturday’s win. Rivers played a lot of his routine rotation gamers, consisting of Joel Embiid and also James Harden, on Saturday.

If the 76ers do play their routine rotation of gamers, Sunday’s video game against the 23-58 Pistons might not be a sure thing. They simply shed to the Pistons on March 31 and Detroit’s had some remarkable showings down the stretch, beating playoff teams such as the 76ers, Raptors, as well as Cavaliers, as well as playing competitive games against the Warm and Nets.

That the Celtics might play in Round 1.
If they get the No. 3 seed: the Bulls
If they get the No. 4 seed: the Raptors
In regards to getting the most positive first-round matchup, obtaining the No. 3 seed could be the best-case circumstance for the Celtics. They would handle the Bulls because situation, that have battled strongly since the All-Star break, going 7-15 because stretch.

Boston likewise got to see exactly how it could fare in a potential first-round sneak peek with Chicago on Wednesday, winning 117-94 in a roadway blowout. The Bulls also announced earlier in the week they’ll be without beginning point guard Lonzo Sphere that helped keep their defense with each other in the very early parts of the season, the remainder of the means.

Chicago resembles an actually positive match as well when compared to Toronto. The Raptors have actually won 14 of their last 17 games, helping them get out of the play-in to secure a playoff area. Not just are the Raptors are a harder team, but the Celtics might likewise lack a principal if they were to encounter them. As a result of Canada’s injection mandate, players that aren’t totally vaccinated can not play in video games in Toronto. The Celtics had three healthy and balanced gamers sit out (Tatum, Horford, as well as Jaylen Brown) their game in Toronto in March, leading some to doubt if they were completely vaccinated or not. Horford confirmed that he is completely vaccinated and Tatum has currently stated he’s vaccinated. Brown refused to say earlier in April if he was immunized or otherwise, mentioning his function on the NBPA board as his reason why.

The Celtics are 2-1 versus the Bulls this period and also are 2-2 versus the Raptors.

If they obtain the No. 2 seed: the Cavaliers, Nets, Hawks, or Hornets.
In the circumstance that the Celtics get the No. 2 seed, that means the Cavaliers defeated the Bucks on Sunday, positioning them in either the No. 7 or 8 seeds.

The Internet just require to beat the Pacers on Sunday to clinch the No. 7 seed, so if the Nets and also Cavaliers win on Sunday, whoever obtains the No. 2 seed will certainly face the victor of Tuesday’s Cavaliers-Nets video game.

But if the Webs lose to the Pacers, that are 25-56 and also losers of their last nine, one of the Hawks or Hornets might move right into Tuesday’s game versus the Cavs. If the Hawks defeated the Firecrackers, they ‘d move into face the Cavaliers on Tuesday. If the Hornets defeated the Wizards as well as both the Webs and Hawks lose, Charlotte would get to encounter Cleveland.

The Celtics hold winning documents versus the Hornets and Cavaliers this period, yet all 3 competitions against Cleveland took place in 2021. They’re 2-2 against the Hawks, yet have actually won their last two competitions, which came after they started their rise up the Eastern Meeting standings.

Boston’s 3-1 versus Brooklyn, as well. While two of those victories came against the Nets without Kevin Durant as well as Kyrie Irving, both celebrities played in the last match in between the two teams, which the Celtics won.