As crazy as it sounds, the Celtics can still catch Atlanta for the 6th playoff seed. Or in theory the Bulls might drop back if they ended the season on a down note. Of course this would have to coincide with the Celtics winning a number of their last 5 games (3 of which are on the road). But it could happen. From the sounds of it, that might be just what the Knicks would prefer.
No matter how mortal Boston has looked lately, no matter how hot Melo is, I can't shake the suspicion that the Knicks secretly hold out hope that Kevin Garnett plays enough of the last five games for the Celts to finish sixth in the East. New York can't be wanting to see these guys in Round 1.
I'm obviously biased, but I'd imagine that nobody wants to see the Celtics in the first round. Not the Knicks, not the Pacers, and not even the Heat. Sure the Heat are going to be prohibitive favorites in any series. And they might even relish the chance to play against the Celtics for the challenge of it. But they would know full well that they'd be going into a dogfight with a proud, veteran team that would love nothing more than to take down the Miami machine at all costs.
The Knicks are hot lately, riding the coat tails of Carmelo Anthony's insane offensive output. But you get the feeling that they are still a fundamentally flawed team with weaknesses that the Celtics could exploit. The Pacers are quietly a very solid, very good team, but I'd imagine they'd prefer to stick with their current matchup of the Atlanta Hawks.
Nobody's going to give the Celtics much of a chance this postseason, but nobody is going to be super eager to face them either.
So let me open this up to you. Who do you think we match up best with?