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Jockeying for position: Five to go

4/17/2012

The Boston Celtics might have been idle on Monday night, but the team had eyes on the NBA scoreboard to monitor how potential playoff foes were faring. The Hawks topped the Raptors, while the Magic defeated Philadelphia, which means Boston, Atlanta, and Orlando all have matching 36-25 records with five games to go. The team with the best overall record in that groups earns home-court advantage in a potential 4-5 matchup, so the Celtics have a little something to play for, even as the No. 3 seed slips out of reach (the Pacers beat the Timberwolves, keeping them three games ahead of Boston).

A glance at the updated standings:

http://espn.go.com/nba/standings
The Celtics have a chance Tuesday to snag the Atlantic Division title in New York (a win and a Philadelphia loss seals it). In the race to determine Boston's first-round opponent (and home-court advantage for that series), here's a look at each team's remaining schedule:

Boston: at Knicks, Magic, at Hawks, Heat, Bucks

Atlanta: Pistons, Celtics, Knicks, Clippers, Mavericks

Orlando: at Celtics, at Jazz, at Nuggets, Bobcats, at Grizzlies

The Hawks have the benefit of five home games (but the competition is somewhat strong), while the Magic will be well-rested before Wednesday's visit to TD Garden.