Boston Celtics: Ranking the C’s 3 most likely first round playoff opponents

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /
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Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) high fives center Al Horford (42) Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Celtics are officially heading the playoffs. While it wasn’t really in doubt, it became official on Thursday night once the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to Atlanta Hawks. While it was just a formality, the Celtics and their fans are hoping it’s the beginning of a long playoff run.

While Boston knows they are going to the playoffs, their seed and first round opponent are still unknown. With four games left, pretty much anything is on the table for the Celtics. They are only 1.5 games behind the Miami Heat for first place in the Eastern Conference (Boston also holds the season tiebreaker over them). They could also conceivably slip all the way down the six seed, as the Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Bulls, and Toronto Raptors are all within 2.5 games of the C’s.

While both of those could happen, neither is extremely likely, and the most probable outcome is Boston will be the three or four seed when the postseason begins. While that may seem a bit disappointing after their short stay in first place, I outlined earlier this week how that may be the sweet spot considering the potential threat of the Brooklyn Nets out of the play-in tournament.

Regardless of their seed, Boston is in a pretty good spot to get a favorable first round matchup, which is good because they are going to need it while they wait await Robert Williams‘ return. But who should Celtics fans be hoping to see in the first round? Let’s take a look at their three most likely first round opponents (which are the Bulls, Raptors, and 76ers), and rank them based on who the C’s should want to face in their initial seven game series.