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Celtics projected to draw challenging opponent in first round of 2024 NBA Playoffs

With the 2024 stretch run finally upon us, we can make some statements about how we think the NBA standings and first round playoff matchups might look by the time the 2024 postseason gets here. And it is not exactly a hot take to suggest that the Boston Celtics will still be in first place in the Eastern Conference standings by then, given their current stranglehold on the top spot.

To that end, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz projects the Celtics to end up in that spot at the end of the regular season, and to face a feisty Orlando Magic ball club in the first round as a result.

“Boston remains elite on both sides of the ball, traded for Xavier Tillman Sr. at the deadline for extra center insurance, and possesses one of the easiest schedules in all of basketball moving forward,” writes Swartz.

“Getting the No. 1 seed should be a big deal as well,” he adds. “Never in the Jayson Tatum era has Boston finished with the best record in the conference, not even in 2021-22 when it advanced to the NBA Finals (51-31, second to the Miami Heat).

We aren’t crazy about facing a team Boston has struggled with as much as they have with Orlando. But the Celtics ought to make quick work of them, so long as they come with their best game just the same.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire