Celtics

Celtics

BOSTON – There’s no question that if the Celtics’ playoff push comes up short, there will be many within the organization disappointed, including Danny Ainge, the team’s president of basketball operations.

"I probably would be just because our guys have worked really hard and our coaching staff,” Ainge said on his weekly call-in to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show. “I know how much they’re focusing on getting into the playoffs. They have goals and I’d like for them to accomplish the goals that they’ve set. So yeah, I’d be disappointed for them.”

However, the positive of another non-playoff season for the Celtics would be another lottery pick and potential chance at landing the No. 1 overall pick.

And that in itself could help speed along the rebuilding process which is nearing the end of its second year.

Ainge, who has an expansive war chest of draft picks and trade exceptions to use in the coming seasons, understands the value of every shot at the lottery.

But for a young team with a young coaching staff that has never been to the postseason, going through this playoff push and getting to the postseason can pay huge dividends as well for the franchise.

“It’s very important,” Ainge said. “We always hear about playoff experience. If you haven’t been there and you haven’t gone through this, you have to go through it at some point. It’s critical."

Ainge added, “I love the fact that our guys are preparing. They have something to really go out and play for every night. These last couple of months, you could see in the players. That’s their goal. Nobody thought they could do it. Everybody thought they were a really bad, bad team. They’ve played a lot better the last couple of months. I’ve enjoyed watching the team play. They play with great passion. Brad has done a masterful job of using a lot of players of getting us to where we are where we have a chance.”

 

The Celtics (34-41), who host Milwaukee on Friday, are ninth in the East, trailing Brooklyn (34-40) by a half-game for the eighth and final playoff spot. If the two teams finish in a tie, Boston would get the higher seed having won the head-to-head series 3-1 this season.