The Celtics will play in their biggest game in four years on Monday Night at TD Garden. The Celtics and Wizards have battled closely for six games and have proven that their teams are pretty much even not only in wins in this series, but from an overall talent standpoint. TD Garden will be rocking tomorrow as a win would put the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals against Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Celtics should win this game. They’re 5-0 against the Wizards at home this season. The home court matters in this one. With that said, as we all know, anything can happen in a Game 7. The reality is that the Celtics had a great opportunity to end this series on Friday Night in Washington. The Wizards were ready to go home and play golf. The Celtics let them back in.
The short-term importance of this game is very big. If the Celtics win this, getting to the Conference Finals would be a huge step forward for this franchise. They would be heavy underdogs against the Cavs and realists would know that any dreams of the Celtics winning a title this year will just need to wait. What’s even bigger than this game is what’s happening the following night…
On Tuesday Night, the Celtics have the best odds at landing the #1 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery. The prize is Markelle Fultz, a 6’4″ guard out of Washington. Fultz averaged 23.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.9 assists last season is said to be a can’t miss player. After Fultz, Lonzo Ball is expected to be the #2 pick. Both players are expected to be franchise changers. The Celtics need to cash in here. Historically, they’ve had terrible luck in the NBA Draft Lottery dating back to when they missed on Tim Duncan. This year, it needs to change. Here are the Celtics odds in the lottery. The can finish with a pick anywhere for #1 to #4.
1st Pick: 25%
2nd Pick: 21.5%
3rd Pick: 17.8%
4th Pick: 35.7%
In summary, the Celtics have a 46.5% chance of landing Fultz or Ball. If they don’t get a top two pick, they’re looking at Josh Jackson and Jason Tatum and the possibility of packaging the pick in a trade this summer.
Amazing drama here! In a 24 hour span, Celtics Nation could be in complete euphoria. It could also be doom and gloom. If the Celtics win on Monday and land the #1 pick, the story will be that they have taken a huge step forward this season and get the opportunity to face the Cavs in the Conference Finals. In addition, they’re future is at the top of the NBA in terms of long-term assets. They could build their team around Isaiah Thomas, Fultz, and Al Horford with another opportunity to get the top pick next year as the own Brooklyn’s pick again. They also would be setting themselves for an interesting offseason where they could make another attempt to land Paul George or Jimmy Butler.
Let’s look at the other side. If the Celtics were to lose on Monday and get the #4 pick, Celtics Nation would be all over Danny Ainge for not trading his assets to improve the team short-term. There would be a feeling of underachieving this year and certainly not as much excitement about the future with the #4 pick.
So much at stake…
Buckle up, folks! This is going to be a fun two days.