BOSTON — The Boston Celtics remain well within contention to finish atop the Eastern Conference by the end of this season.
After Sunday night’s 137-93 win over the San Antonio Spurs, the C’s rose to within a game and a half of the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. But while there’s still time (seven games left), the clock is ticking for Boston to snag sole possession before the arrival of playoff action.
But it won’t come easy, which the Celtics are well aware of. Last year, the significance of home-court advantage was on full display, especially when the Celtics earned a Game 7 win in the Eastern Conference semifinals over the Bucks on the famed parquet.
“I think when Milwaukee took the No. 1 seed from us, after the break — sort of a shock to us that we had dropped because we had created some separation between us and them,” Malcolm Brogdon said. “And that’s something that we want. We want the No. 1 seed. I think this team understands the importance of having home-court advantage in the playoffs. So that’s something we’re going after.”
Jaylen Brown’s play spoke volumes about his understanding of how important this final stretch is for the Celtics, leading the way with a 41-point, 13-rebound, double-double effort.
“Obviously seeding is important, but how you’re playing is more important,” Brown said. “I was more focused on how we were playing than what our seed was. And I thought that even though we were the best team in the league for a large majority of the season, there was stretches in the season where we were winning games cause we were better than teams but we weren’t playing the way we were capable of.”
With three consecutive home victories in the books, perhaps the Celtics’ recent success will serve as their foundation to spark a last-minute hot streak to position themselves for playoff redemption in the coming weeks.
“So now with us in a little bit of the hunt again, everybody kind of refocuses and plays the way we need to play,” Brown added.