Nearly a decade after the Celtics won their last NBA championship, Boston finds itself with serious NBA Finals aspirations once again.
The 2017-18 Celtics have exceeded expectations this season, sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings for the bulk of the campaign. While the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers look to be a force and the Toronto Raptors consistently have played well, the C’s very well could be playing in the championship round for the first time since 2010.
With the idea of the green playing in June flooding in Celtics fans’ heads, Paul Pierce recently was asked to compare this season’s squad to his 2007-08 club which won the 17th title in the franchise’s history. But The Truth was stumped to find anything the two teams have in common.
“I really don’t see any comparisons,” Pierce told ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. “We were all old, wily veterans who had been All-Stars for years. (This year’s team is) a bunch of young, up-and-coming players. They’ll have their time, but they shouldn’t be compared to us. …
“They’ve got a ways to go. They’ve got to figure out who they’re gonna be.”
Pierce hit the nail on the head. The Big Three of Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen was a trio of stars in the final stages of their prime. The Celtics have a “wily veteran” in Al Horford, but the star of the team clearly is Kyrie Irving, who only is 25 years old. Not to mention, Jaylen Brown is in his second season and rookie Jayson Tatum still is a teenager.
While the Celtics could reach the NBA Finals this season, it’s the coming years in which the rest of the league really will need to watch out for Boston. Gordon Hayward is set to return next season, and thanks to trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, the C’s could own a top-five pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
The Celtics have all the makings of a team that can be a powerhouse year after year, but as the old saying goes: Patience is a virtue.
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