Vegas Bookmaker Scoffs At Celtics Making Big Changes For 2024

"Win a Game 7 at home."


Jun 7, 2023

It’s been nine days since the Miami Heat bounced the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals to begin what should be a rather boring offseason for The Green when all is said and done.

That’s probably not what most fans want to hear, especially after listening to Boston sports talk radio after the Memorial Day debacle on Causeway Street. Every caller seems to have an answer for the Celtics’ problems. Move on from rookie head coach Joe Mazzulla. Split up Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Send Marcus Smart on the next plane out of town. Change the course of the entire franchise and trade for Damian Lillard.

While these are all entertaining options, they’re not realistic.

Truth be told, the C’s have the second-best odds to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy next June.

Major changes aren’t necessary.

“Win a Game 7 at home,” Westgate SuperBook vice president of risk management Jeff Sherman told NESN. “Come on, man. It was right there in your lap. Hosting a Game 7 with a chance to go to the Finals. If the Celtics did what they were supposed to do, we’re not having this conversation.”

2024 NBA title odds at SuperBook:
Nuggets +550 ($100 wins $550)
Celtics +600
Bucks +750
Suns +900
Lakers +1000
76ers +1200
Clippers +1600
Heat +1600
Warriors +1600
Cavaliers +2000
Mavericks +2000

“The Celtics shouldn’t change a thing with the roster,” Sherman continued. “Maybe you’ll lose Grant Williams, but that’s it. The one thing I would search for is guidance on the defensive end to bring back the team’s identity from two years ago. Their identity changed when Mazzulla took over. They were scoring a ton, but giving up a lot more points. The defensive intensity wasn’t there anymore. They need to get back to those principles.

“When you lack a defensive edge and just try to outscore teams, you become susceptible to the inevitable.

“That was Boston’s biggest inefficiency.”

And don’t even get Sherman started on Lillard.

Acquiring a soon-to-be 33-year-old lead guard who must dominate the ball to be successful doesn’t seem intelligent.

“Damian Lillard is heading toward the end of his days as a star player,” Sherman forecasted. “He’s been injury-prone the last few years, he’s starting to get up there in age and his shot efficiency is trending in the wrong direction.

“I don’t see any reason to sacrifice next season for Lillard.”

You have to imagine Celtics majority owner Wyc Grousbeck and president of basketball operations Brad Stevens understand what’s at stake. You don’t meticulously shape and fine-tune a championship-caliber roster with sights set on 2022, 2023 and 2024. then pull the plug before the grand finale.

Bailing now is almost impossible.

“The Celtics are an evident title contender,” Sherman said. “The odds tell you that. How can you blow it up now? It would’ve been one thing to acquire a guy like Kevin Durant (before he was traded to Phoenix) and not lose the trade, but now you’re at a point where you must run it back.

“Make some slight improvements, get better defensively and you’ll remain in the title conversation.”

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

Picked For You