Celtics clinch two-seed with win over Raptors, set sights on playoffs: ‘We need to go in with momentum’
BOSTON — With their win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night time, the Boston Celtics clinched the two-seed within the Japanese Convention. The truth is, all 5 of the highest seeds within the East have been solidified.
“You possibly can’t take stuff like that without any consideration,” Jaylen Brown mentioned. “To be on a 50-plus-win crew is an honor. It takes a number of laborious work that goes into that. It doesn’t come round as usually as you most likely suppose it does. And to have the ability to be part of it’s a blessing for positive.”
Boston’s win over the Raptors marked their fifty fifth of the season. It’s the primary time they’ve hit the 55-win mark because the 2017-18. And with two video games left within the common season, they’ve an opportunity to make much more historical past.
The final time the Celtics gained 56 video games in a season was in 2010-11 when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen have been nonetheless wreaking havoc at TD Backyard. And if the Celtics win out, it’ll solidify their greatest common season since 2008-09 after they had 62 wins.
“It’s good. I’m glad for the blokes,” Joe Mazzulla mentioned of the Celtics securing the two-seed. “Seed doesn’t matter as a lot because the mindset that we’ve had. The objective was to be a well-balanced crew all through the common season. [We are] ending within the prime of each offense and protection. I feel we’re growing the right mindset as we head into the remainder of the season and the playoffs.”
In his first season as head coach, Mazzulla helped Boston eclipse their win whole from final season. However whereas locking up the season seed within the East is an accomplishment inside itself, Boston’s targets stretch far past that.
The Celtics knocked on the doorstep of Banne 18 final 12 months, they usually’re undoubtedly trying to rectify their Finals loss this time round. So, heading into the playoffs, they don’t plan on slowing down.
“It’s about ending the season robust with good habits,” mentioned Malcolm Brogdon. “We don’t need to lose these two video games. We need to go in with momentum. I feel that’s one of the necessary issues for any of the high-seeded groups is to go together with momentum as a result of we’re going to get everyone’s greatest shot.”
On Tuesday night time, the Celtics have been with out three starters in Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, and Marcus Sensible. Regardless of that, they have been in a position to squeak out a victory due to big-time performances from Brown, Brogdon, and Derrick White.
Brogdon harassed the significance of well being heading into the postseason, calling it the “primary” precedence, however that’s not all the time a controllable issue. Their win over Toronto displayed Boston’s skill to win underneath various situations – a ability that can be essential come playoff time.
“You’ve bought to be malleable,” mentioned Mazzulla. “Matchups, doing various things. Our guys are very open-minded. Very coachable. They’re very detail-oriented. So, you simply need to be open-minded to all these issues. By any means mandatory, discover a technique to win.”
Toronto threw loads of punches towards the Celtics on Tuesday night time. They’re nonetheless taking part in for his or her play-in positioning, and a few wins vs. a few losses could possibly be the distinction between having to play one or two video games to make the playoffs.
However even when Toronto made a fourth-quarter run, even after they tied the sport mid-way by way of the ultimate interval, and even when Boston’s offense misplaced its legs after taking part in in Philadelphia final night time, the Celtics discovered a technique to persevere.
A few late-season falters stored them from vaulting the Milwaukee Bucks for primary, however that’s behind them now. And the playoffs are in entrance of them.
“To be part of the profitable group, so as to add to it, and to return out each night time and play with function,” Brown mentioned. “So completely, it’s nice. We’re on the point of head into the postseason with a greater feeling.”