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All year, the NBA community has given the Boston Celtics their fair share of critiques. However, this may be a team still primed for an NBA Finals run.
The Celtics began the season with a putrid record of 10-10, and then managed to go a blistering 25-9 with Kyrie Irving missing time in that stretch. Upon returning, Irving looked disengaged and on his way out of the door, as the Celtics struggled through a 8-12 stretch. To close the season, Boston went 8-2 and were undefeated with Irving on the court.
To most, the Milwaukee Bucks are the clear favorites in the East. They had an amazing 60-win season and produced an MVP candidate in Giannis Antetokounmpo. According to Fivethirtyeight.com, the Bucks contain a 79% chance to make the Eastern Conference Finals, whereas the Celtics only have a 21% shot.
Despite their success, no rosters remains flawless. Antentokounmpo has a lack of outside shooting, which allows more psychical teams to clog the paint. Therefore, the Bucks will be forced to rely on Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleon for success in crucial moments.
The Celtics have more than 340 games of playoff experience between the ten players in their rotation. This is in comparison to the Bucks, who are utilizing eleven players, and have less than 245 games of playoff experience.
It took roughly 65 games, but finally, it seems as though Gordon Hayward has mentally caught up with his body. Averaging a smooth 14/5 on a blistering 57% from the field, Hayward may be the key to a Celtics run to the Finals. In fact, when Hayward scores 14+ points, Boston is 23-4.
Under head coach Brad Stevens, the Celtics have won 48+ games in five consecutive seasons. With Stevens’ impact, Boston has scored 114 points per contest.
Due to Irving’s cryptic messages during the regular season, the Celtics have received far too much negative attention from the media. However, this has been an organization that has closed out the outside noise. With that, don’t count out a run to the NBA Finals by the Boston Celtics.
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