Hold on to your hats, while we get ahead of ourselves.
Sirius XM NBA Radio’s Eddie Johnson and Justin Termine argued Thursday the Boston Celtics are the best team remaining in the NBA bubble. After sweeping the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the NBA playoffs, the Celtics opened up a 2-0 lead over the Toronto Raptors in their Eastern Conference semifinal series. The Celtics’ 6-0 start to the postseason has prompted Johnson and Termine to compare them to an all-time-great Boston team and anoint them as the team to beat in 2020.
“… Who’s the best team right now in the (NBA Orlando) bubble? You’ve got to say the Celtics,” Termine said. ” … The 6-0 start actually ties the 1986 Celtics for the best start in postseason history. Think about that. The Celtics have 17 titles, housed the greatest dynasty in the history of the sport with (Bill) Russell and (Bob) Cousy and (Tommy) Heinsohn and (John) Havlicek. They’ve had (Larry) Bird, (Kevin) McHale and (Robert) Parish there during the great years, and 1986 was the best Celtics team of all time. … But that’s the only other team that went 6-0 to start the postseason, and that’s what Boston does here.
“They’re learning how to win, they’ve taken it to the next level,” Johnson added. “They seem to be (firing) on all cylinders now. They’re not young men anymore, and this is not a young team. They have enough games now under their belt to not be viewed that way, and they’re winning games against the Toronto Raptors team in the fourth quarter by making better plays than them.”
The Celtics entered the playoffs as the third seed in the Eastern Conference, but their early postseason performances clearly have attracted newfound admiration. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith declared the Celtics-Raptors series “over” on Wednesday, but even he didn’t go as far as to describe the C’s as NBA champions in-waiting.
Boston can prove its mettle further at 6:30 p.m. ET on Thursday when they take on Toronto in Game 3.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images