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Daily standings watch: Celtics alone in 8th place

If the season ended today...

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

We're coming down to the wire folks.  Just over a week left in the NBA season and everything is still up in the air at the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race.  The Celtics announced yesterday that you can now buy tickets to the first round of the playoffs.  They just have to get there first.

I thought it would be a good idea to check in on the standings every single day to make sure you are all up to speed with where we stand and what we need to do to make the playoffs.  So here's what you need to know.

Scoreboard Watching (games of note)

Nets (36-41) beat the Blazers (50-27) last night 106 - 96

Current Standings:

7 Nets 36-41
8 Celtics 35-42
9 Pacers 33-43
9 Heat 34-43
10 Hornets 33-43

Tonight's Key Games:

Hornets (33-43) at Heat (34-43)

Tiebreakers (via Forsberg):

Boston owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Brooklyn (won season series, 3-1)
Miami owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Boston (won season series, 3-1)
Boston owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Indiana (won season series, 3-1)
Boston and Charlotte split the head-to-head series (2-2); the next tiebreaker is conference record (Boston is currently 23-24; Charlotte is 25-22)

What to watch for:

The Celtics have a game against the Pistons on Wednesday but then face the Cavaliers twice.  Will the LeBrons be at full speed or resting players for the playoffs?  That could be key.  Then again, sometimes when a team is under-manned, the Celtics play worse (witness the Heat game when they were missing Wade and Whiteside).  Should be an interesting week to say the least.

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