Celtics

How the fourth seed in the East playoffs has performed over the last 10 years

How the fourth seed in the East playoffs has performed over the last 10 years

BOSTON -- With Brooklyn's 108-96 win over Indiana, the Boston Celtics have officially sealed up home court advantage as the likely fourth seed in the playoffs which begin later this week.

There's a slim chance the Celtics could go up to No. 3 if they win their two remaining games which includes tonight's matchup against Orlando, and Philadelphia loses its two remaining games. 

But in all likelihood, the Celtics will be the fourth seed and have home court advantage in the first round. 

That’s the good news.

The bad?

The fourth seed in the East hasn’t exactly made a ton of noise in the playoffs recently.

In the past 10 years, the No. 4 seed has a 6-4 record against the No. 5 seed in the first round, with two of those first-round knockouts being delivered by Boston (2010 and 2012).

And as we know, this Celtics team began the season with thoughts of getting all the way to the NBA Finals, a destination that few teams in the East have arrived at starting off as the fourth seed.

Here we take a look at the last 10 teams seeded fourth in the East, and how far they were able to advance in the playoffs.

2018: Cleveland … Lost in the NBA Finals to Golden State.

2017: Washington … Lost in the second round to Boston.

2016: Atlanta … Lost in the second round to Cleveland.

2015: Toronto … Lost in the first round to Washington.

2014: Chicago … Lost in the first round to Washington.

2013: Chicago … Lost in the second round to Miami.

2012: Boston … Lost in the Eastern Conference finals to Miami.

2011: Orlando … Lost in the first round to Atlanta.

2010: Boston … Lost in the NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers.

2009: Atlanta … Lost in the second round to Cleveland.

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Nicolas Batum on Celtics center Vincent Poirier: "It's a good pick-up for Boston for sure"

Nicolas Batum on Celtics center Vincent Poirier: "It's a good pick-up for Boston for sure"

Team USA didn't finish the FIBA World Cup as expected, but there were plenty of positives to take away from the tournament if you're a Celtics fan. 

Not only did Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart contribute to Team USA and certainly took some lessons from playing under Gregg Popovich, but Daniel Theis (Germany) and newly signed Vincent Poirier (France) got invaluable experience they can carry into the 2019-20 NBA season. 

Poirier signed with the Celtics during free agency on a two-year contract and should have plenty of opportunities to earn playing time in a Celtics' frontcourt that hopes to replace Al Horford and Aron Baynes. 

Poirier's French teammate Nicolas Batum, who played with Walker in Charlotte over the last four years, dealt out some praise of the rookie center after France beat Australia for the FIBA bronze medal. 

"This guy, I think, just started basketball 5 years ago, so he's had a special career," Batum told John Schumann. "His energy was great. We can't count on Rudy (Gobert) every game... He was huge. He wasn't scared by Bogut & Baynes... He was amazing tonight."

France knocked the U.S. out of the knockout round by besting them in the quarterfinals. Poirier didn't play in that game, but has played a big role for France behind All-Star big man Rudy Gobert. 

"It's clear that he's a center that can block shots and control the paint," Batum said. "He's a terrific roller, can really catch a lob, and obviously has a lot of energy. It's a good pick-up for Boston, for sure."

The Celtics responded to Horford's departure and trading Baynes to Phoneix by signing Poirier and Enes Kanter to join Theis and Robert Williams at the center spot. Boston will probably have to solve their hole at that position by committee, but if Poirier can play consistent defense, rebound and protect the paint as Batum describes, he could earn himself backup minutes behind Kanter. 

Either way, it should be an interesting training camp to say the least for this new-look Celtics team. 

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One lesson each Celtics player can take away from World Cup

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File photos

One lesson each Celtics player can take away from World Cup

Team Shamrock’s FIBA adventures ended with a whimper Saturday as — under the cloak of East Coast darkness — three of the four Celtics on Team USA logged DNPs (eight points for Jaylen Brown) while the Americans claimed seventh place with an 87-74 win over Poland. Combine that with the fact that Daniel Theis got limited reps with Germany’s early exit and Daniel Poirier hasn’t played big minutes while backing up Rudy Gobert for France and the World Cup experience wasn’t quite as robust as it could have been for the six Celtics players involved.

Still, there were positives to pluck and experiences gained by everyone involved, not the least of which is that a third of Boston’s roster will show up to camp on Oct. 1 in game-ready shape. Still, regardless of Team USA’s medal-less finish and the limited reps for Theis and Poirier, there’s at least one item or lesson that every player can bring with them into the new season.