It’s no secret that the Celtics are on a tear right now
After winning 10 of their last 11, the C’s sit just two games back from the Cleveland Cavaliers for the number one seed. It’s really not a far-fetched of an idea that the C’s can claim the top seed from the Cavs. There are a few reasons why this is not an outlandish idea. First, Kevin Love is out for the Cavs for six weeks and he has been almost vital for the Cavs this year. The second, is that the C’s have been without Avery Bradley for almost a month, and they are winning despite that. The third, is that Jae Crowder has established himself as a consistent scorer and a defensive threat that can be counted on to defend the best of players in the NBA.
With Kevin Love out for six weeks due to knee surgery, the Cavaliers will be shorthanded in the PF position and will be looking for even more production out of Lebron. Lebron is 32 and it’s questionable if he’ll be able to pick up the slack and carry the Cavs for six weeks. Even if he can, he’s going to get worn out eventually. Whether he’s going to be fatigued within the six weeks or the playoffs is questionable, but his tiredness will eventually show. The Celtics will look to capitalize on the depleted Cavaliers roster to take over the one seed, and they absolutely can. The Cavs have been extremely lack luster since the start of 2017 and the Celtics have taken advantage, showing flashes of greatness. If the Celtics can keep showing their true potential and take advantage of a shorthanded Cavaliers roster, look for the Celtics to claim the one seed and (hopefully) hold onto it for good.
When reports started coming in of Avery Bradley’s injury, people were panicking, and for good reason. Following his last game, a five-point performance in a win against the Hornets, the Cs lost three in a row to three teams that are not even in the playoff picture. Fans were questioning how the team would fare while Bradley healed. Luckily, the Cs adapted to play without Bradley and have only lost one game since that span of ugly games. If the C’s have now one 11 of the last 12 games without their second leading scorer (17.7 ppg), there’s no doubt that they’ll be absolutely brutalizing teams once Bradley returns.
The silver lining of Avery’s absence is that rookie, Jaylen Brown, has been able to earn some experience with large minutes in games, and he’s shown doubters why he was picked third in the draft. One can only hope that Avery will be able to return during Kevin Love’s absence to truly attack the Cavs in pursuit of overcoming them for the one seed.
If the Celtics want to take over the one seed, they’re going to depend on Jae Crowder to continue his emergence as a consistent player on both sides of the floor. In the last 10 games, Crowder has averaged 14.6 points, 1.5 steals, and .5 blocks. The team is starting to depend on him as a scorer and continues to depend on him to defend the best players in the NBA. His ability to be physical on the defensive end is the Cs best bet to get to the finals, assuming they make it to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cavs. At 6’6” and 235 lbs, Crowder is the Celtics’ best option to guard 6’8”, 250 pound Lebron James. The C’s will cross that road when they get there, but let’s just focus on taking the one seed from them.
The Celtics show a lot of promise in taking the one seed from Cleveland and there a handful of reasons on why it’s possible and how it will happen. The top spot in the Eastern Conference is in their reach and would be a major accomplishment for a team who was rebuilding just a few short years ago. If the team can drown out the hype surrounding them, then the Celtics can truly take advantage of the depleted Cavaliers and steal the top seed in the playoffs. Let’s just cross our fingers that it can be done.
What do you think? As fellow fans, write a comment on why you think the Celtics will or will not take over the top seed in the Eastern Conference!