The Celtics had a chance to ensure the race for the No. 1 seed went down to Game No. 82 on Wednesday night. That fact in itself was an improbable feat to begin with. The Raptors held a six-game lead over Boston in the East standings as recently as two weeks ago. Somehow, the Celtics managed to close that gap to two games in spite of a laundry list of injuries to key parts of Brad Stevens’ rotation.
Any dreams of landing that top seed came to a halt at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday however, as the Raptors dispatched an undermanned Celtics team easily with a 96-78 victory. Toronto now leads Boston by three games in the standings with just four games to play. One more Raptors win or Celtics loss will clinch the top seed for Toronto.
While the idea of the Celtics chasing the No. 1 seed throughout the final week of the regular season with a skeleton crew was a fun thought in theory, the truth is Boston's loss on Wednesday night is actually a blessing in disguise for this crew.