Christmas Day Win Would Go Long Way For Celtics In Eastern Conference

The Celtics travel to Milwaukee on Christmas to face the Bucks

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The Boston Celtics have a big game Christmas Day against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The game itself obviously will have plenty of fanfare due to the holiday nature of the contest, but in the grand scheme of things a win Saturday could go a long way for the shorthanded Celtics.

Boston certainly hasn’t gotten off to the start it had hoped for and sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference at 16-16 heading into the bout. The Celtics have been severely undermanned for much of the season whether it was injuries — like Jaylen Brown’s hamstring injury that kept him out for 13 games — or now due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

The Celtics won’t be at full strength when they take on the Bucks, as they have eight players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, but if they were to earn a win it could be the jumpstart the team needs.

With a win, Boston would improve its record to 17-16 before heading into a tilt with the 15-16 Minnesota Timberwolves, who will be without their top two scorers in Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards as they recover from COVID-19. The Celtics will take on the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs in the coming days after facing Minnesota.

If Boston takes down Milwaukee then wins three of its next five afterward they would have a 20-18 record and likely would be approaching full health unless anything pops up over the stretch. The upcoming schedule isn’t the most difficult in the world and the Celtics realistically could even win four of their five games after their tilt with the Bucks to improve their record to 21-17 before reaching full strength.

The Celtics currently hold the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, but if all things go well over the next six games they could gain some serious ground in the standings. Boston’s just a half-game back of the No. 6 seed and just 3 1/2 back of the current No. 3 seed Buck.

With reinforcements on the way, this could be the perfect time for the Celtics to send a message.

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