Boston Celtics on hot streak with all eyes on possible first title in 15 Years
A run of 12 wins from 14 games has seen the Boston Celtics emerge as the big favorites to win the NBA title this season and, in doing so, end a barren run that has stretched for 15 years.
The superb run of form is perhaps even more impressive when you consider it comes under the shadow of the suspension to head coach Ime Udoka and the stewardship of his interim replacement Joe Mazzulla.
If you take a look at the current NBA odds, you’ll see that Boston leads the way with odds of around (+450) from most sportsbooks, with the next in line, the Milwaukee Bucks, back at (+650), so can the Celtics really pick up the title in 2022-23?
Last season the Celtics performed wonderfully well to secure the first spot in the Atlantic before despatching the Brooklyn Nets, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Miami Heat on their way to the finals, where they lost out to the all-conquering Golden State Warriors in six games, and they have carried over the form of 2021/22 into this season and are looking very hot right now.
34-year-old coach Mazzulla is into his first head coach role and is seemingly taking to the position with incredible ease, and he can see the potential in his Celtics set-up, and he’s seemingly well aware that the depth in the Boston roster makes the loss of players of Jayson Tatum’s standing, an injury they can cope with;
“No matter who’s out, our guys are always ready to play.”
“And they always step up.”
“It’s a compliment to them for our depth. Compliments to guys for making the right play.” Mazzulla added.
Fortunately, Tatum’s ankle injury doesn’t look like being a long-term problem, and the fact that the Celtics can deal with such situations is proof of a growing confidence at the TD Arena.
Without Tatum, the Celtics still managed to rack up 130 points in their latest win over the Washington Wizards, a win that takes them to 16-4 for the season. Jaylen Brown stepped into the breach to score 36 points and was eager to point out that Boston is about more than just one single player;
“Being able to maintain our level of play without our leader, our big dog, not being in the rotation, it was fun,”
“It challenges everybody; it allows everybody to step up in their role. But we all have capabilities; we all are talented.” Brown added.
That depth means that Mazzulla has no issues bringing other players in to cover any star-player losses, and it’s a situation that is no doubt helping to build up a sense of team ethic;
“They do the same thing the starters do,” Mazzulla said of his bench.
“They keep our spacing. They make the right play at the rim. They move without the ball, and they defend at the other end with effort and detail. That’s what I pride our guys on.”
The Celtics are looking good to ease into the play-offs this season, and then who knows what they can achieve, but a first NBA title since the days of Kevin Garnett doesn’t seem such a stretch of the imagination anymore.