This stat should give Celtics hope of catching Bucks for No. 1 seed


Take it from Malcolm Brogdon: The Boston Celtics have their sights set on catching the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference.

"I think when Milwaukee took the No. 1 seed from us after the break, (it was) sort of a shock to us that we had dropped because we had created some separation between us and them," Brogdon told reporters Sunday night.

"And that's something we want. We want the No. 1 seed. I think this team understands the importance of having home-court advantage in the playoffs. So that's something we're going after."

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Is that a realistic goal, though? The Bucks own a 1.5-game lead over the Celtics with just eight games remaining and are 24-4 since Jan. 23. What are the odds that Milwaukee drops multiple games down the stretch while Boston wins most (if not all) of its final seven games?

They might be better than you think. Here's a look at each team's remaining games:

  • Celtics: at Wizards, at Bucks, vs. Jazz, at Sixers, vs. Raptors, vs. Raptors, vs. Hawks
  • Bucks: at Pistons, at Pacers, vs. Celtics, vs. Sixers, at Wizards, vs. Bulls, vs. Grizzlies, at Raptors

And here's a look at each team's combined record against their remaining opponents:

  • Celtics' record vs. remaining opponents: 12-2
  • Bucks' record vs. remaining opponents: 13-8

Boston is undefeated versus four of its final six opponents, its only losses coming on the road to Milwaukee (in overtime) on Feb. 14 and on the road to Utah on the second night of a back-to-back on March 18.

The Bucks, meanwhile, have dropped at least one game to six of its remaining eight opponents and have a losing record against Philly, Chicago and Memphis.

That's an encouraging sign for the Celtics, but none if it will matter if they can't beat the Bucks in Milwaukee on Thursday night. The season series is tied 1-1, so if the Bucks take that game, the C's will need to make up an extra game on Milwaukee to earn the No. 1 seed.

If Boston pulls off the victory Thursday night, though, the team would just need to tie the Bucks in the standings to earn the No. 1 seed, and the numbers suggest that Milwaukee could drop an extra game or two down the stretch.

Home-court advantage was crucial for the Celtics last postseason when they ousted the Bucks in Game 7 of the East semifinals at TD Garden, so both teams are well aware of the stakes entering the home stretch.

Here are the updated East standings as of Monday afternoon:

Eastern Conference Standings (as of March 27)

  1. Milwaukee Bucks (53-21)
  2. Boston Celtics (52-23) -- 1.5 games back
  3. Philadelphia 76ers (49-25) -- 4.0 GB
  4. Cleveland Cavaliers (48-28) -- 6.0 GB
  5. New York Knicks (42-33) -- 11.5 GB
  6. Brooklyn Nets (40-35) -- 13.5 GB
  7. Miami Heat (40-35) -- 13.5 GB
  8. Atlanta Hawks (37-38) -- 16.5 GB
  9. Toronto Raptors (37-38) -- 16.5 GB
  10. Chicago Bulls (36-38) -- 17.0 GB
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