Celtics can't get tripped up
When the Celtics talk about the road ahead, they are not using a metaphor. If Boston fails to secure home-court advantage in the playoffs, seven out of the next nine games would be on the road. Those numbers include five regular-season games (New Jersey, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Toronto, Cleveland) and the first two playoff games. Though the No. 3 seed sounds good, it means little if Boston finishes with a worse record than the No. 6 seed. In that case, the FleetCenter would host Games 3 and 4 of a first-round series. Even though the Celtics lead the 76ers by 3 1/2 games with seven remaining, they still have a lot to play for. Indiana, currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, is just a half-game behind Boston.
"I don't know if we're going to have home court," said coach Doc Rivers. "But I do know we're going to be at home, and if we take care of that, then we have a chance to win that first round."
The Celtics play three straight games away from home starting with a matinee tomorrow against the Nets, though Rivers said he has not given the upcoming schedule much thought.
"Honest, I didn't know we had three games in a row on the road until you just said it," said Rivers. "I knew we had two. That tells you how far I look ahead. I look at the first game. I don't really care about those other ones. The Jersey game is going to be a big game. They're playing great right now. That's going to be the game that we have a problem with, in my opinion. If we get that one, then we'll worry about the next one."