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No safe spot in the playoffs

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  April 3, 2010 01:13 PM

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The Celtics dropped to fourth place in the East with last night's loss, a game behind the Atlanta Hawks. The argument for the past month is that the Celtics had better hunt down the third spot in the East, but at this point the difference in matchups at the Nos. 3 and 4 aren't that appreciable.

First, by going 2-3 on their homestand thus far, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said, "We're not acting like we want it."

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Hard to sleep on the Heat


But beyond that, so many teams are heating up. Obviously, the Cavaliers will be swinging chainsaws at whoever they see in the playoffs. But as the standings shape up at this second, the Celtics would meet the Miami Heat in the first round, a team that can't be slept on after winning seven straight and 13 of their last 16 with Dwyane Wade playing like a human guillotine (six 30-point games in March and a 43-point night against Indiana last night).

Milwaukee's obviously no cakewalk. The Celtics still have two games left against the Bucks and "one of those games may mean something," Rivers said. A second-round matchup with Orlando wouldn't be a light days work either.

Even if the Celtics break even on the homestand and upended the Cavs tomorrow, it doesn't cool any of the other potential playoff foes, and it doesn't make the playoff landscape any less grueling.

"If we beat Cleveland and we go play Miami in the first round, you think Dwyane Wade [cares] that we beat Cleveland?" Rivers It doesn't matter. It's good for you, it always help your psyche, but I don't think it ever does anything to the other teams. They could care less."

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