Two years ago, just before the Boston Celtics fell short at the hands of the Golden State Warriors, three-time All-Star Jaylen Brown sported his clairvoyant hat to share what became a viral social message.

“The energy is about to shift,” Brown posted on the social media platform X in January, five months before falling two wins short of Banner 18.

Since Brown’s confident proclamation, Boston’s endured two disappointing finishes, most recently falling to last season’s No. 8 seed Miami Heat, who barely snuck into playoff contention. The roster has also seen a significant wave of changes as Celtics team president of basketball operations Brad Stevens turned Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon and Robert Williams III (plus more) into Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday. Those trades, at the time, had some minor risky implications, however, they’ve blossomed into primary examples of why Stevens by been by far the best executive in 2023-24. From the very jump, Boston’s worked to establish itself as the team, not just in the Eastern Conference, but in the NBA.

When the Celtics hosted the shorthanded Oklahoma City Thunder without guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, head coach Joe Mazzulla’s squad backed what they’ve shown throughout the season. In the fourth quarter, Boston slammed on the gas and outscored Oklahoma City, 42-17, to snag a lopsided 135-100 victory — an NBA-record 16th in which the Celtics defeated an opponent 25 points or more, surpassing the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks.

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That officially marked Brown’s words to be true, yet although the job isn’t complete 100 percent, the proof is in the pudding.

On Wednesday night, the Celtics locked both the best record in the NBA — for the first time since 2007-08 — with a 60th win over the Thunder and, more importantly, secured a home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. The Celtics hadn’t given up their spot as the No. 1 seed in the East since Nov. 14 and clinched that mountaintop spot with 11 games still scheduled before the start of the postseason.

Boston’s “energy” has most definitely “shifted” since Brown’s Jan. 31, 2022 message was published. The Celtics have gone 142-47, posting the best record of anyone in the NBA throughout that stretch, winning 17 more times than the Bucks and 18 more than the Denver Nuggets, per team play-by-play announcer Sean Grande. In very few instances this season have the Celtics failed to contend against any opponent in the regular season. So much so that in fact, Boston hasn’t lost three times consecutively and currently holds an 11-game winning streak at home with six matchups left.

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Brown’s been a huge proponent at the forefront of Boston’s sacrificial and efficient approach to the season, averaging 23.2 points with 5.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists on 50.1% shooting. Obviously, those numbers are a slight drop from last season, however, it’s a trade-off the entire roster has bought into to keep the Celtics ahead of everyone else in the league.

The hype has been cemented, logged and officially indisputable, however, reaching this point isn’t anything new to the Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown-led Celtics. They’ve been here plenty of times before, appearing

“I think that’s important to not take that for granted,” Mazzulla told reporters at TD Garden on Thursday night, per NBC Sports Boston. “I think it’s important to have the gratitude for that, it’s very hard to do. We may never be in this position again so you don’t wanna take it for granted. … It’s just a testament to the guys.”

Boston knows there’s still plenty of work left to do. So now, it’s time to prepare for battle to keep the season alive and embark on another hunt.

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Featured image via Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports Images