BOSTON - First thing's first, you have to be healthy. Doc Rivers has put his emphasis on having his Boston Celtics healthy heading into the playoffs, which is why he has rested his players in the last two games. With one game left, the Celts still have a chance to clinch home court advantage for their first round series against the Atlanta Hawks, needing a win against the Milwaukee Bucks and a Hawks' loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.
Still, that won't change the team's approach in their regular season finale against the Bucks.
"Well, it doesn't," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "We're going to play our guys Thursday, anyway, especially since they didn't play today and I said that the other day and I thought they were going to play today. So we'll see. But it does, I mean, it would be nice to put some more pressure and force Atlanta to have to win. That would be nice."
Atlanta (39-26) has a one-game lead in the race for home court advantage over Boston (38-27). Both teams were in action Tuesday, and both claimed victories. Boston defeated the Miami Heat, 78-66, while Atlanta topped the Los Angeles Clippers, 109-102.
Home court advantage isn't a necessity for a veteran group like Boston, but it helps.
"That means a lot, we get to stay here we don't have to travel," said Marquis Daniels. "We have the greatest fans here so it'd be great for us if we can get home court advantage."
Boston and Atlanta will open their first-round playoff series on either Saturday or Sunday.