Jayson Tatum and Brad Stevens slap hands

Pregame Post-Ups: Stevens Talks Play-In Tourney

Tuesday, April 13 - Celtics at Trail Blazers

Pregame – Stevens Makes Important Comment While Discussing Play-In Tourney

There’s been a lot of talk over the last 24 hours about whether or not the play-in tournament should be happening this season in the NBA, given the fact that the compacted schedule has been so physically demanding.

The fact of the matter is that it is happening, and the teams that fall into the tournament – seeds seven through 10 in each conference – will need to deal with it.

That’s pretty much what Brad Stevens had to say about the topic when asked before Tuesday night’s matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers. He did, however, add in an additional comment of significance with regard to the rest of Boston’s season.

“We will not prioritize our seed over our players’ health, that’s for sure,” he stated.

That’s an important comment from Stevens given the fact that Boston currently sits in the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference – a seed that would land the team in the play-in tournament if the Playoffs started today.

As is painfully obvious, the Playoffs don’t start today, but it remains an important note that Stevens will not put enough stock into the standings to affect the use of his players.

“If there’s somebody that needs to sit, or if (Jayson) Tatum, Jaylen (Brown), whoever (needs to sit, they will),” he said. “And I think we’ve been pretty consistent with that with Kemba’s (Walker) year as well.”

With only a little more than a month remaining in the regular season, this is something to keep an eye on. The Celtics could very well find themselves in the play-in tournament if some of their top players need time off over the next four weeks. To the contrary, they could march all the way up to the fourth seed in the East and gain home-court advantage if they remain healthy.

- Marc D'Amico

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