The Boston Celtics Beat Oklahoma City to Take the Top Seed

Tue, Apr 9, 2024
by CapperTek


With six games still to play in the NBA, the Boston Celtics secured an important victory that means they’re assured of being top seeds in the playoffs. This came in a resounding 135-100 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday in the Celtics’ home court.

The Story of the Game

Kristaps Porzingis was the star of the show for Boston with 27 points and 12 rebounds, as well as five blocks. Jayson Tatum picked up a total of 24 points, while Jaylen Brown finished the game with 23 points and seven rebounds. Boston trailed for little more than a minute across the full game, which shows the control and dominance they had of proceedings. Porzingis said “we deserve it” after the game and it’s hard to argue. This was the team’s 11th consecutive home win and means that they now have a 60-16 record for the season, before their next meeting with the Sacramento Kings on Friday.

The Thunder relied on Josh Giddey to rack up 17 points, while Luguentz Dort got 15 and Chet Holmgren collected 11 points, together with seven rebounds. It should be remembered that their top scorers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams, missed the game through injury.

Another milestone was marked in the game, as the Celtics scored over 60 points in the opening half for the 50th time this season. That equals their current franchise record that was set just last season. With a few regular season games still to be played, it seems certain that they’ll beat that record once again.

The Advantage of Being Top Seed in Basketball

As the top seed in the NBA playoffs, Boston will have home-court advantage. How big an advantage is this going to be? The franchise with the home-court advantage plays the first and second games in their arena, as well as the fifth and seventh encounters if needed.

The Celtics franchise has racked up the most number of wins in NBA history and their strength in Boston is undoubted. Having these crucial playoff games at the TD Garden, with its distinctive parquet floor design and great atmosphere, is a clear advantage. This has been the scene of many of their most important triumphs over the years and it’s easy to imagine the positive effect that playing there will have on their players and fans.

Do basketball teams have more chance of winning at home? A look at the subject suggests that they do, with the NBA registering a bigger home-court advantage than any of the other major American sports. 60% of regular season games are won by the home team and that figure is even higher when we look at the play-off games. The Celtics are 33-3 at home and 27-13 on the road this season, so there’s definitely a big difference in their performances at the TD Garden.

Will Boston Win the NBA Championship?

How will securing the top-seed status so early affect the Celtics? It could be argued that this gives them a chance to relax, rest some players, and maybe try out some new tactics without any pressure. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be the first time that we’ve seen a team lose momentum when they’re far ahead of the rest, and then struggle to pick up the slack again when it really matters.

A look at the odds for the NBA championship this season reveals that The Boston Celtics are now many people’s favorites, with their odds of around +200 putting them ahead of the Denver Nuggets, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the LA Clippers. If you aren’t yet convinced about how the playoffs will go, you can find the latest NBA odds for the remaining regular season games. The Celtics’ odds reflect their strong season to date, but you’ll also want to take into account how motivated they’re likely to be. Will the teams battling to make the playoffs beat them even as underdogs? It might make sense to look at player prop bets as an alternative to the moneyline.

The Celtics are looking for a record 18th title in the NBA this season. The franchise is currently level with long-term rivals the Los Angeles Lakers on 17 titles. However, they haven’t won the championship since 2008, when they defeated the Lakers in their first Finals appearance since losing to the same team in 1987. 2024 looks like it’s offering them a big chance to break that record but they’ll need to overcome bigger hurdles than they encountered in their most recent win.

Summary

This latest victory for the Boston Celtics marked an important milestone by securing home status in the playoffs. Yet, it would be wrong to read too much into a routine win against an under-strength Oklahoma City Thunder. Tougher challenges lie ahead and, for the moment, their classification as Finals favorites is simply an indicator of how far they’ve come. 

TheJSharp.com