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It's Rather Insane That The Celtics Have Clinched The Top Seed In The East Before Any Other Team In The NBA Has Even Secured A Playoff Spot

Joe Murphy. Getty Images.

The entire 2023-24 Celtics season has been a bit of a fever dream in the sense that even now, on March 25th, it's still hard to believe what we're watching. And while we ALL know that absolutely none of this matters if they choke away this prime opportunity in the playoffs, I also think it's important to take your time and keep perspective. You can't win a title in March, but you can stop and appreciate one of the greatest seasons many of us have ever watched (no hyperbole).

The most efficient offense in NBA history, the 4th best scoring differential in NBA history, a net rating that's only been outdone by MJ's Dynasty Bulls, the list goes on and on of all the ways the 2023-24 Celts have shown to be the very definition of a wagon up until this point of the season.

But perhaps the most ridiculous? This right here

Granted, this was pretty inevitable considering the Celts have led the East since November 14th. They also led it from October 25-November 7th, but there was a week in there where the Sixers led until the Celts took over for good. It's not exactly a shock that a team that's been in 1st place since their 10th game of the season is going to end the season in 1st place. 

But what is shocking is the fact that it happened on March 25th. While I appreciate the birthday gift (please allow this shameless fishing for happy birthdays), I'm also pretty ashamed that I did not think this was possible back when the season started. I am man enough to admit that I did not think the Celts would lock up the #1 seed on my birthday. I should have and will vow to be better moving forward.

To add just how insane this is, if you look across the league right now, there is not a single other team out there that has even clinched a playoff birth yet.  

I know I'm now "an old" and with that comes the possibility of your vision getting worse, but I don't see any little "x" next to any other top 6 seed in either conference. It begs the question, what is everyone else in the league doing? 

I think it's OK to acknowledge that this isn't exactly something you see all that often. There are still 3+ weeks to go in the regular season! How impressive is this? Well, even the 2008 title team didn't do this until April 6th! You usually don't get tweets like that until mid-April, so the fact that it's already happened is taking my brain a minute to process.

At the end of the day, I'm not asking for much. All I am asking for is that this team simply has the exact same ending as every team in NBA history that has accomplished what the 2023-24 Celts are currently doing. Nothing more, nothing less. Just be like everyone else

Let's tell it like it is. This is either going to go down as one of the greatest teams in NBA history, or one of the greatest choke jobs in NBA history. While all the signs may point to a certain result, I think Celts fans know as much as anyone that these games are not played on paper or on a spreadsheet. We've seen dominant Cs teams choke before. We've seen a team get 14 playoff wins only to never win again and fall just short of the elusive 16. 

But if you want to believe this year is different, there's certainly a lot of evidence that suggests this may just be one of those years. Locking up the conference (and not too far away from best overall record) is going to go a LONG way in making sure everyone stays fresh, which we all know is important for the journey of what's coming next. The good news is I think we can assume we'll see a whole lot more of this

which is unlike anything we've seen before during the Tatum/Brown era. In the NBA, they say you stack wins early so that you can rest late. Well, nobody in the league has done that better than the 2023-24 Celtics, and now they are in a position to reap the rewards of that consistent success. 

Let the other teams fight until the last week of the year and be forced to play their stars heavy minutes to end the year while they figure out playoff positioning. That's their problem. As we've seen recently, the only thing the Celts need to care about over their final 11 games is getting guys to rest and making sure they are feeling good heading into the playoffs. Now with the 1 seed secured, there's no need to overextend for any reason. Let the Maine Celtics and Hospital Celtics do their thing and prepare for the most important playoff run of our lives.

Between the positive Jrue Holiday injury update and clinching the 1 seed, all I need is for the Celts to handle their shit tonight in Atlanta for the birthday trifecta. Not a bad way to distract myself from the fact that I am now old as shit if you ask me.