The NBA is holding an eight-game stand that allows 22 teams to have a final fight for a playoff spot. The Boston Celtics are amongst those teams and will have eight games to solidify their place in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics are the third-ranked team in the East, so these eight games will be used to solidify their position, as well as fine-tune some things entering the postseason.
July 31 versus Milauwakee Bucks: Win
The Celtics will definitely start off the restart on a cold streak. The team relies on shooters in their offense, and Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker could come into this game very rusty. However, the Bucks are not the best three-point shooting team. This evens the ground as the Celtics will have to rely on the defense to win this game. Head Coach Brad Stevens is a defensive guru and has his team disciplined finely. If the team can stick to the defense, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the company will have a tough first day back.
Aug. 2 versus Portland Trail Blazers: Win
The Portland Trail Blazers took a big hit when Trevor Ariza opted out of returning for the NBA season. Ariza is the team’s best win defender, and without him and Jusuf Nurkic the Blazers will have a tough time guarding the Celtics. The Celtics outmatch the Blazers as a whole, and even if Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum can keep up with Tatum and Walker, the Celtics have a more reliable bench.
Aug. 4 versus Miami Heat: Win
The Miami Heat are not a threat to the Celtics. The Heat are a grit-and-grind team filled with young shooters in Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson. But the Heat do not have a stable leader. Jimmy Butler is a great player, but in recent years he has gotten into verbal altercations with players who would not pull their weight. If a player comes back to the season cold on the Heat, Butler is capable of having an outcry to the team. The Celtics should easily win this, as the chemistry on this team is at an all-time high.
Aug. 5 versus Brooklyn Nets: Win
A dominant win. The Nets are in shambles. Both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will not return to the lineup as they are still recovering from injuries. With the recent news, two more Nets starters might not be able to play. As both DeAndre Jordan and Spencer Dinwiddie had tested positive for Covid-19. Jordan would later make public that he will not be joining the Nets in Orlando. With four starters out, the Celtics should easily take the win, and could even rest some players for the coming games.
Aug. 7 versus Toronto Raptors: Loss
After playing a back to back, and only having a day off to rest the team will struggle against their division rivals the Raptors. Although the Raptors are not who they were a year ago, they are still the second seed in the Eastern Conference. This game here will most likely determine who will finish with the second seed in the conference. Unfortunately, it will be Toronto’s as they will try to repeat this year.
Aug. 9 versus Orlando Magic: Win
Although technically the Magic will have home-court advantage, no fans are allowed. The Magic have tons of young pieces mixed with borderline all-star veterans. But, in a typical Magic manner, they are underperforming. The coaching is mediocre, and players seemed too lackadaisical throughout the season. The Celtics are overall better than the Magic in every way as well, and this game should be a cakewalk for Brad Stevens and the Celtics.
Aug. 11 versus Memphis Grizzlies: Win
Ja Morant will be a problem for Kemba Walker. But other than that, the Celtics should be able to handle the young Grizzlies. Tatum and Jaylen Brown are on different levels and have much more experience in what it takes to make games count down the line in the regular season. Morant’s inexperience might falter him in this game, as the potential to try to carry his team could burden his play.
Aug. 13 versus Washington Wizards: Loss
In a very New England sports way, the Celtics will lose the last game of the regular season. It is a very known fact that New England sports teams always take it easy in the final game. They do this because they are known to make a deep run in the playoffs. They will most likely rest their star players in this game so that they stay healthy and be rejuvenated for the first round of the playoffs.
In the eight games, the Celtics will go 6-2. They will finish with the third seed at the lowest but could manage to grab the second seed depending on the Raptors. With the Celtics having all of their guy’s coming back and playing, the NBA Finals could be hosting this team.