Going into this year’s NBA Playoffs, the expectations for the Celtics were fairly low. Despite being the #2 seed in the East, they were viewed as a team who simply had back luck with injuries. While the season was still being viewed as a success, the feeling was that the Celtics may defeat the Bucks, but their run would end there vs. the 76ers. Well, they’re now up 3-0 and no NBA Team has ever come back from that deficit in 129 tries. For the second consecutive year, the Celtics will be going to the Eastern Conference Finals vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Let’s pause here. The general feeling in Boston was that anything more than a Round One advancement was going to be viewed as gravy for this team. The feeling was that this season was a great success. The team won more than they were expected to. Their two young potential stars, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, took a major step forward when given the opportunity after the injuries consumed the team. The Celtics also found a diamond in the rough in Terry Rozier. Now, most Celtics fans are looking a team that would have Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Terry Rozier, and possibly Marcus Smart next year. That’s a team that can win an NBA title. All good, right?
With all of that said, something has gotten lost here. The Celtics are nine wins away from an NBA Championship this year. Suddenly, an opportunity is getting lost in the conversation. Yes, the Celtics were blown out by Cleveland last year. The Celtics don’t have Kyrie Irving. Do you know who else doesn’t have Kyrie Irving? The Cleveland Cavaliers. While the Cavs still have LeBron playing at his peak, the team lost a Top 10 NBA player from last year’s squad. Their supporting cast is not as good as it’s been in year’s past. The Celtics have budding superstars who are beginning to pop at the right time. The Cavs are beatable this year. The Celtics will have home court. Besides Lebron is there any player on the Cavs who you fear as a Celtics fan? Don’t say Kevin Love. Don’t expect this Celtics team to be worried about playing Cleveland. They’re hungry and they know that they can win this series the same way they knew they could beat the Sixers.
Obviously, the Golden State Warriors are again the clear cut favorites to win the title again. The Houston Rockets could give them a battle, but we’re not expecting that here. However, the Boston Celtics match up very well against both teams. Should the Celtics beat the Cavs, they would surely be a major underdog vs. either team in the West…
But, what if, we’re actually in the middle of the most impressive Celtics title run in team history and we just don’t realize it yet?
Keep looking towards next year, Celtics Nation. It’s going to be very exciting to see this team with Irving and Hayward. But, don’t lose sight on this opportunity this year. It’s very possible that the Celtics will be in the NBA Finals in three weeks.