Wednesday, 24 May, 2017

Celtics clinch No. 1 seed in East, beat Bucks 112-94

Lamar Ellis | 18 April, 2017, 18:34

The Cavs play the Raptors on Wednesday, and the Celtics play the Bucks. LeBron is reportedly resting again for the season finale, and the Bucks reportedly plan to rest many of their players. The Celtics clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference thanks to the Toronto Raptors beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-83 Wednesday night.

If there's one obvious advantage the Bulls possess in this first-round matchup, it's playoff experience.

Pacers 104, Hawks 86: Paul George finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds, Jeff Teague added 19 points, and the Pacers clinched a playoff spot with the win over Atlanta.

Al Horford: "They've been playing much better". Evan Turner joined the Portland Trail Blazers on a four-year deal. There is also a contingent of people who have picked the Bulls to win.

Knicks 114, 76ers 113: Carmelo Anthony scored 17 points after deciding to play in what could be his final game with the Knicks.

James Harden became the first player in National Basketball Association history to finish the regular season with at least 2,000 points (2,356), 900 assists (907) and 600 rebounds (659) following Wednesday's triple-double in the Houston Rockets' 123-118 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

There will still be a team waiting for the Celtics in the East. While NBA analysts and fans across the nation are going praises to Russell Westbrook and James Harden, they are missing out on Isaiah Thomas.

"They definitely wasn't thinking No. 1 seed when I got here", said Thomas, who came to the Celtics from the Phoenix Suns on the trade deadline day. The team suffered long-term injuries to Bradley and Horford which impacted the Celtics' performances and results.

"I'm just knocking on wood and praying I'm healthy so I can have good playoff series", he said. This saw the team rise up the conference ladder during the Christmas period. Since the All-Star break, that drop-off has been even worse (93.8). After being down 3-1 in the NBA Finals previous year, they managed to run off three straight wins to take home the crown over Golden State.

"He's a big part to what they do". He has been such a factor in the team's offense that they have had trouble winning games without him and struggle to score when he is not on the floor.

As the season ends, the Boston Celtics sit at the top of the standings with 53 wins, and just 29 losses. "I guess it means something", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. First, the Cavaliers looked mediocre for most of the season. If either loses, the door opens for Miami.

Irresistible force vs. immovable object, starting Sunday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Celtics have more firepower on offense and will be too much for Chicago's defense to contain. So if Boston wins at home against Milwaukee - which is completely locked into the sixth seed, and has no reason to play anyone important - the Celtics will have the top seed in the East for the first time since 2008. They looked up to the Cavaliers in the standings, but the standings have changed.

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