The Boston Celtics needed a win or a Cleveland Cavaliers loss Wednesday night to secure the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. They got both, setting up a date between the C’s and the eighth-seeded Chicago Bulls in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
On the surface, this seems like a huge development for the Celtics, who now own home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. But Skip Bayless argued Thursday on FS1’s “Undisputed” that the Cavaliers actually benefited from how everything shook out on the final day of the NBA regular season.
The Cavs, who lost to the Toronto Raptors in their season finale, earned the No. 2 seed in the East, meaning they’ll face the Indiana Pacers, who secured the No. 7 seed Wednesday by defeating the Atlanta Hawks. The Bulls, who cut down the Brooklyn Nets to wrap up their regular-season slate, grabbed the No. 8 seed, while the Miami Heat missed out on the postseason based on a tiebreaker with Chicago.
All of this is good news for the Cavaliers, according to Bayless, who suggested Thursday that either Miami or Chicago would have upset Cleveland in the first round of the playoffs. Now, with the Celtics landing the No. 1 seed, the Cavs have a first-round date with the Pacers and, as Bayless put it, a path to the NBA Finals that “went from dangerously hard to ridiculously easy.”
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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