The Boston Celtics begin their postseason run Sunday against the Indiana Pacers as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Though Boston didn’t meet its sky-high expectations and had some troubles throughout the year, the squad gets a clean slate for Game 1 at TD Garden and beyond.
The Celtics are a little banged up, however, with Marcus Smart slated to miss a few weeks with a partially torn oblique. Jayson Tatum, along with six other teammates, sat out the regular-season finale, whether it be to injury or rest. Regardless of the team not being 100 percent, Danny Ainge still remains confident the Green will be just fine.
“I’m excited about it,” the president of basketball operations told the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett. “I think we’re playing our best basketball. We have good depth to make up for Marcus’ loss, but I feel like our team is in a good spot.
“I mean, I keep thinking back to 2010 when we were 27-27 (after a 23-5 start) to finish the season, and it was not looking good,” Ainge added. “It was not a real optimistic perspective. And, you know, that team had a 13-point lead in Game 7 of the NBA championship and played probably the best basketball in the KG era after that very underperforming regular season of 2010.
“So the playoffs are a different animal, and I think that it’s like a fresh start, a reset button, and we’re excited about it.”
Ainge noted he didn’t believe the Celtics were “just waiting around” for the postseason in order to play their best basketball in 2019. So while Boston will have to overcome the loss of Smart and face a hungry Indiana Pacers team in the first round, there’s no doubt in Ainge’s mind Boston will bring its A-game.