BOSTON — The Celtics enter Monday night’s game against the NBA-worst Brooklyn Nets tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the top seed in the Eastern Conference at 51-29. But the Celtics’ place in the standings is the farthest thing from coach Brad Stevens’ mind with two games remaining in the regular season.
“The most important thing is (Monday night’s) game,” Stevens said before Celtics-Nets at TD Garden. “Whatever seed we get, we get, and that’ll be the result of an 82-game schedule, not the result of, obviously, one or two games.
“It is what it is. I think we’ve had a pretty consistent year with regard to performance, but we’ve also had moments where we haven’t played as well, and you just hope that you’re playing as well as you can.
“I’m literally not talking about it with the team at all, nor am I losing one second of sleep over it.”
The Celtics have a great chance to overtake the Cavs for sole possession of first place in the East.
Boston will play a Brooklyn team that, despite going 6-4 in its last 10 games, sits at the bottom of the league standings with a 20-60 record. Cleveland, meanwhile, won’t have superstars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving for its Monday night game versus the Miami Heat.
The Heat still are battling for a playoff spot, and should be able to beat the Cavaliers’ JV team. The Cavs also are 0-6 this season without James.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images