Heat’s Erik Spoelstra Takes Notice Of Celtics’ Progression To NBA Finals

Celtics look for first NBA title since 2008


The last time the Boston Celtics won an NBA championship, they constructed their roster by going out and assembling a Big Three.

But over a decade later, the Celtics have followed a different roster recipe to put themselves four wins away from their first NBA title since 2008.

This time, the Celtics didn’t go out and trade for centerpiece parts. Instead, they withstood the growing pains of their young stars and watched them blossom over the years. There were plenty of learning experiences and heartbreaking losses along the way, too, including losing the last three times they made it to the Eastern Conference finals.

But this Celtics core, behind first-year coach Ime Udoka who values resiliency and toughness, finally got over that hump by beating the Miami Heat, 100-96, in Game 7 on the road at FTX Arena on Sunday night.

While his team came up on the short end, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who got the better of the Celtics two years ago in the East Finals, couldn’t help but notice the journey Boston took to make it to the biggest stage the league has to offer.

“They’ve probably done it the way that it’s supposed to happen in this league,” Spoelstra said following Game 7, per Celtics.com’s Taylor Snow. “You build a team, you have frustrating losses, you stay together, keep your core together, keep your culture together and then you eventually find a breakthrough.”

Homegrown talent is leading the way for the Celtics with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart — all top-six draft picks by the organization. Boston also spent first-round selections filling out rotation pieces in Robert Williams, Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard.

Lastly, the Celtics sprinkled in two veteran presences via trade by bringing back Al Horford this offseason and acquiring Derrick White at this year’s trade deadline.

It’s certainly been a different way to shape a roster compared to just trading for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and instantly becoming a title contender, but in the end, it could yield the same result.

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