With their win in Cleveland last night, combined with the Detroit Pistons loss in Denver, the Boston Celtics have clinched a spot in the 2019 NBA Playoffs. Although it hasn’t been the season for Boston that many predicted, clinching a playoff spot is still a milestone moment. And it’s the necessary first step towards competing for a championship.
This will mark the Celtics fifth straight appearance in the postseason. It’s also the fifth in six years since Brad Stevens became Boston’s head coach. In addition, this will be Boston’s 11th playoff appearance in the last 12 seasons.
The playoff berth assures that the Celtics will have a chance to add to the franchise’s record number of NBA championships. Boston currently sits at 17 titles and is looking to add an 18th banner this June. The Celtics last won the NBA title in 2008 and last appeared in the NBA Finals in 2010.
Given the relatively small amount of roster turnover from the 2017-18 season to this one, this marks the first postseason appearance for just two players: rookies Brad Wanamaker and Robert Williams. It will also be the first time Daniel Theis will play in the playoffs, as he was on the roster last season, but was injured and unable to take part in the postseason.
In addition, this playoff run will be the first for Kyrie Irving as a member of the Boston Celtics. Irving missed last year’s postseason following surgery on his knee. The last playoff game for Irving was in the 2017 NBA Finals as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
As of the moment of clinching a playoff spot, Boston is still battling the Indiana Pacers for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Celtics still have an outside chance at catching the Philadelphia 76ers for the three seed, but would have to make up three and a half games with just seven games to play.