Joe Mazzulla’s unexpected alternatives are created by the Celtics’ success | Robb

After defeating the Knicks convincingly on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, the Celtics technically still have 25 regular season games left. After winning 8 games in a row with impressive style, Boston is essentially starting a new chapter in their season. With a record of 45-12, the club is currently eight games ahead of Cleveland, their closest East rival, and five games ahead of the Timberwolves for the NBA’s best record.


Boston should have an easy time securing the top seed in the East this season, as seen by the Eastern Conference’s makeup. Not only are the Celtics healthy, but they still have the second-simplest schedule in the NBA.

As this is going on, there are several competitors in different stages of difficulty across the rest of the Eastern Conference. With weeks until their All-Star big men recover, the 76ers and Knicks are dealing with injuries to their star players. Under new coach Doc Rivers, the Bucks have struggled with consistency as they have lost six of their past ten games. With two consecutive losses following the All-Star Break, the Cavaliers have also returned to earth.


To put it plainly, right now, none of these clubs has a genuine chance to challenge Boston in the standings. Although the Celtics won’t formally sign anything until March, the East Division fight for the regular season is already virtually done.

In New York on Saturday night, Al Horford told reporters, “It’s just the way kind of the season has gone.” “We’ve sort of held our own and are still working things out. The Sixers are obviously injured. Different teams are dealing with different situations. That is all taken into consideration. I can only say that we’re still playing excellent basketball, though. We’re genuinely attempting to play the correct game. Additionally, Joe seems to be putting a lot of pressure on us to keep improving. We have a great opportunity to elevate it during this portion of the season. And that’s what our goal is to accomplish.

Jaylen Brown has already hinted that when it counts most, Boston’s dominance in the regular season won’t matter much.


Brown remarked of the standings, “When it comes down to the playoffs, none of that stuff really matters.” It seems to me that playing hard and matchups will be key components. Home court matters, of course, so that’s important. But no matter your seed, you have to win basketball games when things get serious. In fact, it increases your workload. However, I believe our crew has experience. We’ve dealt with these circumstances previously, so I believe we’re prepared.


In recent years, the Celtics have occasionally overexerted themselves trying to get a seeding during the regular season. It will be interesting to see how they handle a much more comfortable situation while attempting to reach their best on the floor during the next weeks.

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