The Boston Celtics are one of the most successful NBA teams ever. The franchise has reached the coveted NBA Finals on 23 occasions and has won 17 of those games. Only the Los Angeles Lakers, with 32 finals appearances, have reached basketball’s biggest stage more times, although they are tied with the Celtics on 17 victories. A Celtics win over the would see the Massachusetts franchise become the most successful NBA team in terms of NBA Championships won.
The Golden State Warriors are the team standing between the Boston Celtics and greatness. Warriors are the hot favorites to win their fourth Championship in eight seasons because they do have better players, making a Warriors victory one of the best bets NBA finals fans will make in this best of seven series. However, having the better players does not always make a better team, so the Boston Celtics have every chance of experiencing glory in the next couple of weeks.
A Change of Coach Worked Wonders
Boston Celtics were relatively poor during the 2020-21 COVID-19 hit season. They won 36 and lost 36 of their games, finishing fourth in the Atlantic Division, seventh in the Eastern Conference, and some 13.0 games behind the Philadelphia 76ers. Celtics beat Washington Wizards in the Play-in game but were terrible against the Brooklyn Nets, losing 1-4 in the first round of the playoffs.
This season, Brad Stevens moved from head coach to general manager, with Ime Udoka coming in as head coach. Udoka played 316 NBA games during his career, mainly as a sixth man, before becoming the assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers, and Brooklyn Nets.
The Celtics did not start the current regular season brilliantly, ending 2021 with a 17-19 record, but they went 10-6 in January, 9-2 in February, an impressive 11-3 during March, and ended the season 4-1 in April. When the dust settled, the Boston Celtics had won the Atlantic Division with a 51-31 record and were only two games behind Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference.
Celtics faced Brooklyn Nets in the playoffs’ first round, and they exacted revenge for last season’s humiliation by destroying the Nets 4-0. They made harder work of the reigning champions Milwaukee Bucks but ultimately won 4-3. Another 4-3 win, this time against the Miami Heat in the Conference Finals, saw the Celtics reach their 23rd NBA Finals.
The Celtics Have Some Legitimate Star Players
Everyone is talking about how the Golden State Warriors roster is packed with superstar talent, but the Celtics have some incredible players of their own. Indeed, Jayson Tatum is arguably the best player, at least regarding form, of all the players who will take to the court in the 2022 NBA Finals.
The 24-year-old former Duke small forward has been a permanent fixture in the Celtics team since they selected him as the number three overall pick in 2017. Taytum has since racked up 365 regular season games in five seasons, averaging 26.9 points per game, 8.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. There is a reason he has been a First-Team All-Star for the past three years.
Then there is the exceptional talent that is Jaylen Brown, who has developed into one of the best shooting guards in the NBA. Like Taytum, Brown joined the Celtics as the third overall pick but a year earlier in 2016. He is a critical component in the Celtics’ starting line-up. If Taytum and Brown play to their best while Marcus Smart defends like everyone knows he can, the Celtics have every chance of causing a major upset and winning their record 18th NBA Championship.