The 2017 NCAA Tournament kicks off later this week, but the Boston Celtics may already have endured their version of March Madness.
Boston’s stumble was good news for the red-hot Washington Wizards, who moved past the Celtics into the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed with only a month left to play in the regular season and show no signs of slowing down. But if you’re a C’s fan looking for a silver lining, you’ve come to the right place.
Consider this schedule tidbit for Boston’s final 15 games, via ESPN Stats & Info’s Micah Adams:
The Celtics have just five road games remaining on their schedule, and three are a virtual stone’s throw away: Brooklyn, Philadelphia and New York. Their only other road trip is a southern swing to play the Charlotte Hornets and Atlanta Hawks over a three-day stretch. On top of that, 11 of Boston’s 15 remaining games are against sub-.500 teams.
It’s quite the different story for Washington. The Wizards have 11 road games left on their schedule, and still have a West Coast trip on their plate that includes dates with the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz. They’ll play in three different time zones over a nine-day span from April 2 to April 10.
In short: Things look good for Boston as it enters the (literal) home stretch. Brad Stevens’ club is fully healthy for one of the few times this season and doesn’t play until Wednesday after blowing out the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.
Does that guarantee Boston the No. 2 seed? Of course not. Washington very well could continue its hot streak through season’s end, and the C’s could slip up against easier competition as they’ve done several times this season.
But the schedule certainly favors the Celtics as they make their playoff push.
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