Which leaves us with this:
3) Atlanta 52-29 (Games left: vs. CLE)
4) Boston 50-30 (Games left: @CHI, vs. MIL)
5) Miami 46-35 (Games left : vs. NJN)
6) Milwaukee 45-36 (Games left: @BOS)
The Celtics aren’t locked into a first-round series with Miami, but it’s getting close. There are only two scenarios I can see in which the C’s would face the Bucks in the first round. Both are unlikely.
Scenario #1: The Celtics win out and Atlanta loses to the Cavs in the Hawks’ season finale.
This scenario would push the C’s into the 3rd seed, where they’d face the Bucks in the 3-vs-6 series.
Why It’s Unlikely: The Hawks will be facing Cleveland’s B-Team in the season finale. They should win that game if they need/want it. Boston, meanwhile, figures to get Chicago’s best effort Tuesday, since the Raptors hold the tie-breaker over the Bulls. Milwaukee will play hard in the season finale.
Scenario #2: The Bucks beat Boston and the Heat lose to the Nets on the final day of the season.
Why It’s Unlikely: The Nets have won 12 games this season.
Interesting Possible Twist: If the Bulls beat the Celtics on Tuesday, the C’s will be locked into the 4th spot with one game (against the Bucks) remaining. They would have no way of catching the Hawks. The C’s in that scenario would almost certainly rest key guys and give the Boston fans one last chance to cheer Brian Scalabrine as he earns a larger paycheck this season than those of Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen, Marquis Daniels, Shelden Williams and Glen Davis.
In other words: That game would be there for the Bucks to take.
Of course, the Nets would still have to beat Miami in order for Milwaukee to jump back into 5th.
In other words: Get out the sun screen, rent a car that’s nicer than the one you own and make your reservations at Le Tub. We’re going to Miami.
Oh: And for the love of Diana Taurasi, DO NOT LEAVE UDONIS HASLEM OPEN ON THE LEFT BASELINE.