It’s tough not to buy into the Boston Celtics hype, but Jay Williams understands there’s a whole lot of basketball left to be played.
The new-look C’s compared to last season’s team effectively are night and day. The 2018-19 group, of course, was loaded with high-end talent but severely lacked chemistry. Boston’s current squad, however, has routinely been winning games thanks to full-team efforts.
Still, Williams isn’t ready to declare the Celtics better off with Kemba Walker running the show as opposed to Kyrie Irving. Boston has been solid through the first two months of the season, but it remains to be seen how it will fare in the playoffs.
“It’s just like, we can’t let the Kyrie thing go,” Williams said Thursday on ESPN’s “Get Up!” “I know they’re on pace to maybe get 10 more wins than what they got last year, but ultimately let’s see if they get to the Eastern Conference Finals. I know that we make this seem like it was a lot of Kyrie’s fault, but Jayson Tatum was taking a lot of tough, contested twos last year, Jaylen Brown didn’t have his money yet. There’s a lot of different scenarios, too. It wasn’t all on Kyrie. They’re different. I don’t know if that equates to better for the playoffs, though.”
It’s tough to knock Williams for this trepidation. The NBA postseason typically is dictated by superstars, and the Celtics probably can be ranked anywhere from the third- to the fifth-most talented team in the Eastern Conference. There’s a fair chance Boston will run into either the Milwaukee Bucks or Philadelphia 76ers in the conference semifinals, and the Celtics would be hard-pressed to win a seven-game series against either team.
So while there’s no doubt the C’s are a far easier team to root for than a season ago, there’s no guarantee they’re bound for a deep postseason run.
Thumbnail photo via Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports Images