With the success and buzz created by the 8-9 play-in game during the COVID bubble (which feels like three weeks ago), the NBA decided to expand the playoffs with a play-in tournament this year on a trial basis for the 7-10 seeds in each conference. These graphics will do a much better job of explaining how said tourney works, even though that basically says it all.
If the Celtics win tonight, they're the 7 seed and face Brooklyn in a best of 7 series in the first round that will, at best, end in a gentleman's sweep. If they lose to the Wizards, they play the winner of Pacers vs. Hornets for the 8 seed on Thursday. If they lose that game, they're all the way out—no playoffs for the C's.
I'm rooting for the Celtics to win the NBA Championship in the same way that I'm rooting for Heather Graham to ask me out (you can have your celebrity crushes, I'll have mine). Of course, I'd want to see it happen, but I'm not holding my breath and letting it ruin my day, should it not.
(She's 51 years old!!!)
Once Jaylen Brown went down, those microscopic glimmers of hope that the Js and company would "figure it out" went out the window. This probably isn't the best take for an aspiring sports blogger to have, but I just don't care about this team. I'm ready for it to be over so I can stop feeling guilty about watching about 1.5 games per week. It's been an incredibly frustrating season. They'll beat the Suns, then lose to the Thunder. No Heart like 21 Savage & Metro Boomin. At 29 years old with a full-time job and like eight streaming subscriptions, I have other options to fill my night.
It's been clear all year that something is wrong with the Celtics, and IMO that something is health. Like the other Final Four teams from the bubble, the C's haven't been healthy all year. Jaylen, Jayson, Kemba, Marcus Smart, and Robert Williams III have all been "healthy" at the same time for, I believe, eight games and went 7-1 in them, but I saw that on Twitter sometime in the last one to eight weeks so don't take that information as Gospel.
The way I'd see it, theoretically, the Celtics best path to the NBA Finals would be Philly, then the winner of Knicks/Hawks, which would not be possible with a win tonight. So as a fan, I want that. Plus, should the Celtics lose to the Wizards, then they're only one more loss away from not making the playoffs at all. I would not be entirely against that. Maybe that's the wake-up call Danny needs? Get the Js some real help because this current version of the C's doesn't deserve a spot in the playoffs. I'm being the bigger person admitting it'd be better to see Russell Westbrook put up five triple-doubles in a 4-1 series loss than watch Jayson Tatum play hero ball trying to carry the Celtics intramural roster. Like COVID has shown us, sometimes it's just best to wash your hands of a situation, and I'm ready to wash my hands of this season. Get Jaylen healthy and comeback reloaded next year. Just try not to dwell on the fact that the 2020 Bubble was the C's best chance at getting in the NBA Finals. Oh, and I just don't want to play Brooklyn and deal with people saying they won the Paul Pierce trade when that is factually untrue. Signing superstars doesn't negate that!