The Boston Celtics are seen by many as the NBA’s team of the future, but there is a very realistic possibility they could win the NBA Finals as soon as this June.
The C’s have built a roster loaded with depth, experience and versatility that makes them a difficult matchup for any type of opponent.
The Athletic’s Sam Amick recently talked to several Golden State Warriors players about potential playoff opponents, and it’s obvious the two-time defending champions understand the Celtics would present a difficult challenge in a seven-game series.
“They are clearly paying close attention to Boston — never mind that they don’t play the Celtics until Jan. 26 — and hold Kyrie Irving in extremely high regard,” Amick wrote. “Anyone who remembers his stepback three over (Stephen) Curry from the right wing in Game 7 of the 2016 Finals understands why. Boston big man Al Horford gets all kinds of respect from his Warriors peers as well.”
Draymond Green, in particular, had plenty of praise for Irving, the Celtics’ superstar point guard.
“Kyrie has been there and done that, and he’s going to embody that (spirit),” Green told Amick. “Kyrie is going to love that moment, to love being that guy that has been there and showing everyone else the way. And I think that’s what makes them a threat is that (reality that), yeah they have all the pieces, but Kyrie has the experience and I think that’s what makes them great.”
The Celtics have beaten the Warriors in each of the last three seasons, including two wins at Oracle Arena in Oakland. These teams played two thrilling regular-season matchups during the 2017-18 campaign, with both teams protecting their home court.
The Cleveland Cavaliers all but certainly won’t be playing the Warriors in the NBA Finals for a fifth consecutive season. A new team should emerge from the Eastern Conference. The Celtics won’t have an easy walk to the 2019 NBA Finals, but they are the favorites, and likely would provide the toughest challenge to the Warriors’ quest for a three-peat.