Between now and the playoffs, we're going to hear a lot about what the Boston Celtics are lacking. In fact, Boston's revamped core group, one without Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Daniel Theis who all suffered season-ending injuries, and Marcus Smart whose right thumb injury will keep him out for most of the first-round series, is full of players who came into the league with high expectations due to their lofty draft status. Boston's current starting five consists of three players taken with the No. 3 pick in their respective draft class — Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
If the Washington Wizards want to improve their playoff position in the final days of the regular season, they can start by beating one of their potential opponents when the Boston Celtics visit Capital One Arena on Tuesday night. Washington (42-38) has lost four straight to drop into eighth place in the Eastern Conference with games remaining against the Celtics and at Orlando on Wednesday. An eighth-place finish would match the Wizards with the Toronto Raptors, and seventh place gets them the injury-depleted Celtics (54-26) and sixth place either Philadelphia or Cleveland.
The real question here: If you are Celtics management, how hard do you push Marcus Smart to get back for the second round of a playoff where the team will be without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward? Will the Celtics even be around for Smart to join them in the second round is a valid question. Sources: Celtics guard Marcus Smart had reevaluation on torn right UCL Monday in New York and is expected to receive clearance to return to game action at six-week mark of surgery (April 27).
The 2017-18 NBA Regular season comes to an close on Wednesday, with the NBA Playoffs set to begin this weekend. The Wizards (42-38) are locked into a playoff spot, but the bracket projection is still very much up in the air with two days left. The Wizards
Celtics' forward Marcus Morris offered an entertaining take on how he does not want to play the Wizards in the first round of the playoffs because it would mean going up against his twin brother Markieff. Marcus and Markieff have played against each other numerous times before, but he knows the playoffs would be different. The Wizards forward offered his side of the situation after Monday's practice and explained why he would prefer to play another team than Boston, who the Wizards could face if they move up one spot before the regular season runs out.
Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward exchanged the kind of toothy giggles normally only found between kids on a playground when they were introduced as the new faces of the Celtics. ''It's about to be crazy, G,'' Irving said in the ear of Hayward to a soundtrack of clicking camera lenses as they sat on a dais back in September two days after Boston's blockbuster trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Seven months later, Irving has proven to be prophetic – albeit not how he had in mind.
BOSTON – We are in the final week of the regular season and the Boston Celtics are in unfamiliar terrain. Toronto locked up the top seed in the East, with Boston securing the next best thing as the Eastern Conference's No. 2 seed. It may create some unusual, seldom-seen lineups, to test some of that stuff out now is a blessing for a Celtics franchise that has been dealing with significant injuries to key players all season.
The Utah Jazz became the latest team to clinch a playoff spot in the NBA Western Conference with a 112-97 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, while the Philadelphia 76ers reached the 50-win mark. Utah secured a postseason berth thanks to Rookie of the
The Oklahoma City Thunder can clinch a playoff spot with a win on Monday night over the host Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena. The Heat (43-37) are already in the playoffs, but they are coming off a brutal 122-98 loss to the New York Knicks on Friday and, six days before that, a loss to the Brooklyn Nets in overtime. In other words, the Heat — who are 4-4 in their past eight games — are not riding into the playoffs with great momentum.
It's getting to the point where the Celtics have to give some thought to the possibility of having the rookie on their playoff roster, something that can only happen if they waive one of their current players with a guaranteed contract. Bird, who has averaged 11 points in Boston's last two games, said he's not thinking beyond the Celtics' two games remaining in the regular season, knowing he's got a pretty good shot at playing in both. "I'm not too concerned with what's going on as far as my future and things like that," Bird told NBC Sports Boston after scoring nine points on 4-for-5 shooting Sunday afternoon.