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
DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Boston Celtics potential first round opponent No. 1: Chicago Bulls

Of the three most likely teams, it’s clear Celtics fans are going to be pulling for a first round matchup against the Bulls. After leading the East for most of the first half of the season, Chicago has fallen apart, going only 7-11 since the All-Star break. They have fallen from first to fifth in a pretty short time, and as previously mentioned, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them end up in the sixth seed when all is said and done.

Boston is currently 1-1 on the season against the Bulls, although they will play each other one more time this upcoming week. That matchup could end up having huge playoff implications, and it may give both teams a sneak peak at what’s to come for the playoffs, so it will certainly be an interesting game to watch.

Chicago has relied heavily on DeMar DeRozan to carry them through the season. They have other talented scorers, such as Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, but they just haven’t been good enough this season. Losing Lonzo Ball, who may not even make it back from injury this season, has really hurt the Bulls offense, and his absence has been a big reason for their second half struggles.

On the court, this is a favorable matchup for Boston. They have the defensive talent to slow down DeRozan, LaVine and Vucevic, on a nightly basis, and that’s assuming all three even show up for at the same time. Chicago’s defense is also one of the worst among playoff teams, and there are going to be tons of matchups that Tatum and Brown will be able to take advantage of.

Next. Celtics talent on full display during a dominant week. dark

If Boston can find a way to stay put at the three seed, they will probably end up with their top possible matchup against Chicago. They would get home court advantage for the first round, and potentially the second round depending on how the other series’ play out. The Boston Celtics have put themselves in a really good spot heading into the final week of the season, and if things go their way, that success could translate over to the postseason.