The Boston Celtics gave their fans a glimpse of what could be this season, as they came within 12 minutes of the NBA Finals while playing the entire season without Gordon Hayward and all of the playoffs without Kyrie Irving.
While Brad Stevens is excited about the possibilities next season will bring, the Celtics undoubtedly will be the favorites to win the Eastern Conference if their full complement of weapons is healthy.
In fact, the expectations already are getting a little bit out of hand.
If you don’t believe us, let NBA Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady take it away on Tuesday’s episode of “The Jump.”
“This team is going to be the Golden State of the East,” McGrady said. “They are so deep. Even if they lose Marcus Smart, like I’m trying to figure out their lineup for next year because either (Jayson Tatum) or (Jaylen Brown) is going to go to the bench.
“They are going to be so deep. I’m like, (Brad Stevens) is going to have to coach these guys like (Gregg Popovich) coached San Antonio Spurs, where you have just so much talent. I look for these guys to play no more than 30 to 35 minutes a night, that’s how he’s going to have to juggle these guys, keep them fresh. They are going to be a serious problem in the Eastern Conference.”
Nothing like setting the bar high.
While the Celtics are set up for long-term success, it might be a stretch to compare them to a team that has gone to four consecutive NBA Finals and won 73 games in 2016.
That being said, there’s no reason to believe that Boston won’t be a perennial power in the NBA for the foreseeable future.
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