CELTICS will face #HEAT if…
CELTICS will face #WIZARDS if…
— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) April 11, 2018
With the NBA Playoffs starting on Saturday, it’s time to start looking at who the Celtics might draw in the first round.
Now, as of today, the team that the Celtics will see in round one is still unclear. There are a million different scenanarios, but it all comes down to three teams that they could wind up facing: the Milwaukee Bucks, the Miami Heat, and the Washington Wizards.
I think it goes without saying that all of these teams are pretty good. It’s hard to have to choose one that I’d rather play. But personally, I’d rather face the Bucks over Miami and Washington.
I know that Giannis is absolutely terrifying to go up against. I don’t think anyone in the league can successfully contain that guy 1v1 in a seven-game series. He’s going to be a nightmare to gameplan for. So how do you justify wanting to go up against an MVP candidate in round one?
For starters, the Celtics were pretty even with Milwaukee during the regular season (split season series 2-2). Statistically, Milwaukee is the worst rebounding team in the NBA. The C’s, who are in the top 15 in that category, should be able to dominate the glass against them. But that’s not the only reason I’d want to see the Bucks in round one. To me, this Bucks team resembles last year’s Oklahoma City Thunder squad. Russell Westbrook had one of the most dominant seasons ever and carried them to the post-season. But they lost in the first round to James Harden and the Rockets. Why? Because one player can’t carry an entire team through a playoff series. Giannis has way more talent around him than Russ did last year, but they’ve been wildly inconsistent down the stretch. If nobody else shows up, I think Giannis will have a hard time beating a well-coached team like the Celtics all by himself.
By no means do I think it’ll be easy for the Celtics. They still have to show up. With Kyrie out for the playoffs, Tatum, Brown, and Rozier will all have to turn it up a notch. It’ll probably go seven games, but I think facing the Bucks would give them the best chance at getting out of the first round. John Wall and Bradley Beal always play well against us, so I want no part of Washington. And Hassan Whiteside would probably get every single rebound in a matchup against Miami, so I’m out on them too. I hate to say it, and I’ll probably regret it, but feed me Giannis. I’m ready.
-Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)