Is the First Seed in the East Bad?
The Boston Celtics are currently the second seed in the Eastern conference and that is the best seed to be. Yes, if the Celtics were to overtake the Cavaliers who are currently three games ahead of Boston, they could be playing game one of the Eastern Conference Finals at the Garden. However, getting home advantage against the Cavaliers will likely may not make a difference to Lebron James and Kyrie Irving. Sure, being home is better than on the road, but the path to the conference finals is a bit tougher.
If the NBA season ended today (as of March 6th, prior to all the games tonight) the Celtics path to the conference finals would have them be hosting the Chicago Bulls and then the Washington Wizards or Indiana Pacers. If the NBA season ended today, except hypothetically the Celtics are the first seed, the path to the conference finals would have them be hosting the Detroit Pistons and then the Toronto Raptors or Atlanta Hawks.
In both scenarios the Celtics should have no problem getting out of the first round, but the second is the biggest difference. The Wizards are a dangerous team with a dangerous backcourt but so are the Celtics. Their biggest weakness is depth, and that is arguably the Celtics biggest strength and in a seven game series that makes all the difference in the world. The Pacers have not had much success this year against Boston as they are 0-2 and are a dreadful 11-20 on the road.
However, a first seed could mean playing against an Atlanta Hawks, a team that just blew the Celtics out a week ago and may have the best rebounding frontcourt in the East between Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard. Otherwise, the Celtics face the Raptors who have had the Celtics number all season, and has a backcourt and the defensive versatility that has given the Celtics fits all year.
Celtics Nation, what do you believe? Would the Celtics path to the conference finals be more difficult as the second seed or the first seed? Share your thoughts!