The Boston Celtics have had one goal in mind after they came up short in the 2022 NBA Finals; get back to the Finals, but find a way to come out on top this time. And for much of the season, the Celtics have looked like one of the top Finals contenders across the entire NBA, and they should be one of the favorites to win it all once the playoffs get underway.
The Celtics have the second best record in the NBA at 52-24, with only the Milwaukee Bucks coming in ahead of them. Unless something crazy good or crazy bad happens, Boston will likely end up entering the playoffs at the two seed out of the Eastern Conference. It’s not as good as the one seed, but the Celtics will certainly be glad to have such a high seed entering the playoffs.
Boston admittedly hasn’t been at their best since the All-Star break, but they still are one of the most talented teams in the entire league. Beating them in a single game is one thing, but beating them over the course of a seven-game series is going to be far more difficult. So with the playoffs right around the corner, let’s take a look at three reasons why the Celtics will win the 2023 NBA Finals.
3. The Celtics are finally healthy
For top teams like Boston, the main goal during the regular season, aside from winning, is to stay healthy. The C’s have remained healthy for much of the season, but it always seems like they have had someone missing at one point or another. Robert Williams III has been out the most of anybody, which hasn’t really allowed the Celtics to get into a groove on either side of the ball.
But now, just about everyone, aside from Danilo Gallinari, who hasn’t played all season, is healthy and ready to go as the playoffs near, and this is huge. The Celtics have a lot of continuity from their Finals run last season, and now that their group is all back, they can begin to try to transform themselves into that team once again this season.
The return of Williams, who is one of the best interior defenders in the league, certainly helps, but he’s going to have be unleashed in the playoffs in a way that he hasn’t really been throughout the regular season. Either way, having the full assortment of players ready to go in the postseason is huge, and should prove to help Boston out in a big way.
2. The Celtics have one of the deepest rosters in the NBA
The reason why being healthy is so important for the Celtics is because, when fully healthy, they have one of the deepest rosters in the entire league at their disposal. Boston managed to keep every key member from their rotation from their Finals run last season, while adding Malcolm Brogdon and Mike Muscala to the equation as well, and so far this season, their depth has helped them be very successful.
Depth in the playoffs is key for a couple of reasons. For starters, injuries happen, and having players you can count on to fill in when they need to is huge. This also will give first-year head coach Joe Mazzulla some wiggle room when it comes to crafting his playoff rotation. Mazzulla’s rotation has been inconsistent at best this season, but he will have the ability to ride the hot hand in the playoffs.
Using that depth is going to be crucial as well, as Mazzulla cannot be afraid to play a player who’s been playing well over one who should be playing well. But when you match them up with any other team in the league, Boston has the personnel necessary to win all throughout games, and that should serve them well in the playoffs.
1. The Celtics know what it takes to get to the NBA Finals
As mentioned before, the Celtics really only have one goal this season, and that’s winning the Finals. After stalling out in the Eastern Conference Finals in their past three appearances, they finally managed to make it to the Finals last season. But by the time they got there, the Celtics seemed to be out of gas.
This team is virtually the same one that made it to the Finals last season, but this time around, they know what it takes to make it all the way there. The NBA playoffs are a grind, and they eventually wore out Boston last season. The gap in experience between themselves and the Golden State Warriors was very hard to miss.
This sort of experience should help Boston greatly as they attempt to accomplish what they just missed out on last season. In the East, the only team that can really match that experience is the Bucks, and Boston likely won’t have to face them until the ECF at the earliest. It won’t be easy, but expect Boston’s newfound experience to help them greatly, and it could just lead them to an NBA Finals victory this year.
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