The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Brooklyn Nets in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Saturday night to advance to the conference finals against either the Philadelphia 76ers or Atlanta Hawks.
And yet here we are thinking about the Boston Celtics, who were bounced in just five games against the Nets during the first-round series earlier this postseason.
The reason being comes down to something pertaining to the offseason. The Celtics currently have arguably the most desirable coaching vacancy in the league, and certainly have the best available position in the East.
It’s not all that crazy to think a Bucks loss to the Nets in Game 7 could have thrown a wrench into that.
Allow us to explain: Had the Bucks lost to the hobbled Nets in Game 7, it would have depicted Milwaukee, as currently constructed, would likely never get past Brooklyn. (After all, the Nets were without Kyrie Irving with James Harden clearly not playing at 100 percent.) And that takeaway would have made it a possibility the Bucks could fire head coach Mike Budenholzer.
An open coaching job in Milwaukee could be more enticing than the current open position with Boston. The Bucks, after all, seem closer to competing for a championship and have two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. They have a better roster from top to bottom.
The Bucks remaining in the playoffs means, at the very least, the Celtics have additional time — perhaps two weeks? — in their coaching search before Milwaukee opens it job. And that’s if Milwaukee opens its job. Advancing to the conference finals could make it a bit tougher for the Bucks to fire their head coach, which would again benefit the Celtics.
Boston is left filling the position after Brad Stevens took over for Danny Ainge as the organization’s president of basketball operations.