Eastern Conference Playoffs Take Form Tonight Amidst Major Tiebreaker Games

Boston Celtics v Milwaukee Bucks
Boston Celtics v Milwaukee Bucks / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The Eastern Conference playoffs are set to be one of the best we’ve seen in a while. New dynasties are forming and all the dark horses are compelling. The standings in the East have been a crapshoot all season long and the final days of the regular season haven’t changed anything. 

Tonight might be the most important night of the season for the Eastern Conference standings. 

Milwaukee (No. 3 seed, 0.5 games back of No. 2 seed) faces off against Boston (No. 2 seed, 0.5 games up of No. 3 seed). Also, Philadelphia (No. 4 seed, 0.5 games back of No. 2 seed) faces off against Toronto (No. 5 seed, 3.5 games back of No. 2 seed). These two matchups will put a lot of things into perspective, so let’s take a look at them. 

First, let’s break down Milwaukee and Boston. The Celtics are half a game up on the Bucks, but have one less game to play than them. If the Celtics win, that would put them firmly in control of the No. 2 seed and likely lock it up. However, if the Bucks win, it would give them the tiebreaker and the higher seed. 

It also sets up an interesting tiebreaker situation between the Celtics and the 76ers, who have an important battle of their own tonight. 

Philadelphia can move up to the No. 2 spot with a win over Toronto tonight. But let’s assume every team stays in place. The 76ers might be in trouble should they face the Raptors in the first round. Matisse Thybulle, the Sixers’ best perimeter defender, would be ineligible to play in Toronto due to his vaccination status (or unvaccinated status). 

Thybulle has started 49 of a possible 64 games this season, but will miss tonight’s game. If the Sixers are down an elite perimeter defender, they could be in serious trouble in a playoff series. As far as tonight goes, they better hope they get a win to stay alive in the race for the No. 2 seed. 

We’ll have a better picture tomorrow, but the Celtics, Bucks and Sixers will provide great drama tonight. 

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