BOSTON — The Boston Celtics won’t be able to look toward the future immediately after suffering a gut punch by losing the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors on their home floor Thursday night.
The Warriors stopped the Celtics in their tracks with Golden State winning three straight games, including a 103-90 victory in Game 6, to keep Boston two wins shy of obtaining their 18th championship in franchise history.
While the biggest loss of their careers will probably consume most of the Celtics cast of players for a little bit, there will be time for them to make up for their failure on the league’s biggest stage.
Despite their myriad of shortcomings in this final series, Boston has two pillars in place in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Both haven’t even turned 26 years old yet, and the All-Stars are heading into the prime of their careers.
With those two stars at the center and complementary pieces surrounding them, it gives Brown, who netted a team-high 34 points in the Game 6 defeat, confidence that the Celtics’ success will continue for seasons to come.
“The future is bright,” Brown told reporters. “I always look at adversity as opportunities to shape an individual. For whatever reason it wasn’t our time, and it means we still got a lot to learn. Personally, I got a lot to learn. So, for me, it’s always about growth, continuing to get better, continuing to find different ways to lead, and that’s what it’s about. The future’s bright, and I’m excited to get back next year.”
Marcus Smart also believes there’s more ahead for the Celtics, as their run to the finals showed them their true potential.
“We see what we’re capable of,” Smart said. “We got a taste of it, and we want the whole thing. I know for a fact that we’re going to be back a different team. We’re going to put in the work, but this one’s going to hurt.”
While the Celtics think they will get another shot to perform on the elevated stage of the finals, they will have to do more than just talk it into existence, and certainly learn from their mistakes.