Celtics home-court advantage close to meaningless as fourth seed

Nick Friar
April 08, 2019 - 12:34 pm

Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and the Celtics have talked about securing home court advantage for a little while. They did so in 2017 Red Sox fashion, with the Brooklyn Nets knocking off the Indiana Pacers. Given the mess this reality show devolved into, the finish is a bit surprising.

But home-court advantage is nothing more than a consolation prize — unless, of course, the Celtics are only looking to win the opening round of the playoffs. That changes things entirely. If that’s the case, then mission accomplished. The Victor Oladipo-less Pacers definitely won’t be a problem now.

However, if this team still has intentions of making it to the NBA Finals, they’ll have to put on their big boy pants and win a few games on the road. Not to mention, they’ll have to be nearly flawless at the Garden.

That remains the goal, right? Irving can’t be looking to knock off a fake five seed and bow out of the playoffs.

A change of heart would make some of the Celtics’ recent comments about home-court advantage less perplexing.

After Sunday’s loss to the Magic, Irving mentioned to reporters, “We’ve locked up home-court.” Yes, you have. For one round.

Since when was it ever this team's goal to win one round and that's it? Sure, things have looked bleak from the outside, but isn’t ignoring the outside speculation a point of emphasis for this group?

The Celtics should win the first round without breaking much of a sweat. The Pacers are a respectable team, but without Oladipo there’s no reason to think the Celtics can’t win this in five.

What happens after that?

They will likely face the Milwaukee Bucks, who actually have home-court advantage throughout their tour through the Eastern Conference. Outlook not so good.

Keep in mind, the concept of not having home-court advantage isn’t a Brad Stevens Era issue.

In Kevin Garnett’s time with Boston, the Celtics went 56-43 in the postseason. Winning at home was almost a given (39-12), but Garnett, Paul Pierce and the rest of the group struggled on the road like everyone else (17-31).

Why should anyone expect anything different from this team?

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