The Boston Celtics are the hottest team in the NBA, but one sports pundit isn’t totally sold on the C’s just yet.
FOX Sports 1 host Colin Cowherd expressed his reservations for the Celtics during Wednesday’s edition of “The Herd.” Cowherd acknowledged his respect for Boston’s 13-game win streak, but he explained why fans should take it with a grain of salt.
“I like Boston,” Cowherd said. “But they’ve beaten the (San Antonio) Spurs without Kawhi (Leonard), Oklahoma City (Thunder), who’s still trying to figure out what they are, nine of 13 Eastern Conference teams, and the youngest team in the league, the (Los Angeles) Lakers.
“Here’s how Boston’s doing it. They’re well coached. They sneak into town. They beat you on IQ, preparation, and hustle. And they do have an unbelievable player in Kyrie (Irving). But this is why veterans win the playoffs. Because you face the same great players for two weeks.”
The C’s have received contributions from everyone throughout the win streak, but Cowherd believes the team’s depth outside of Irving has question marks, especially the young players.
“The second best player on the Celtics is Jaylen Brown,” Cowherd said. “Until a week ago, he couldn’t buy himself a drink at the hotels he stays at. How layered is his game? Like a good comic, he can come in and give you a tough night, hustle. What if you see him over and over? How many layers does Jaylen Brown have? How many layers does Al Horford have? How many layers does 19-year-old Jayson Tatum have?”
It’s far too early to book the Celtics in the NBA Finals, but given the weak state of the East, it’s hard to imagine the team doesn’t make a deep playoff run. But still, Cowherd believes there is a major roadblock the C’s must overcome in order to achieve conference supremacy.
“If LeBron (James) was a band, OK, LeBron would have, like, three greatest hits albums. You stop LeBron doing this, he does that. You stop him doing this, he does that. You stop him doing this, he does that. You stop Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum from doing that, all they have is an 11-minute set as a comic.
“Never forget this. If Boston and the (Cleveland) Cavaliers toured as bands, the Celtics would open for LeBron. Professional winning streaks — take a deep breath. Even the longest the (Golden State) Warriors had, 24 games a couple of years ago, didn’t result in a title. The playoffs have very few upsets. Because when you see a comic every night, or a band past their third song, or an NBA team — same dudes, coaches, plays in-bounds — or two weeks, you’ve got to have layers. Celtics right now don’t. LeBron has multiple.”
You never can count out James, who has reached seven straight Finals. But if the Cavs’ struggles mount, the Celtics might make Cowherd’s take look foolish.
Thumbnail photo via Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY Sports Images