The NBA is getting ready to resume the rest of the season within the next few months. The details are still being decided, but what we do know for sure is that the playoffs are going to be much different than what we’re used to. Whether it’s a play-in tournament, seeding changes, or just the fact that teams will play in front of no fans, this will be unlike anything we’ve seen before.
Another thing that we know for sure is that the Boston Celtics will be in the playoffs, and hopefully, they’ll be playoff-ready by the time the season starts back up. According to Brad Stevens, several players have arrived in Boston and have been getting back to work.
I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t nervous about Jayson Tatum not shooting a basketball for the longest time before investing in a basketball hoop. I’m not sure what other players have done to stay in basketball shape and to stay ready for whenever the season resumes. The Auerbach Center opening back up and hearing that players are already back is giving me confidence that this team will be ready to go when the season starts back up.
At the beginning of the season, I looked at this Celtics team and had very little expectations. My only expectations were to get better as the year goes on and to play with a chip on their shoulder every single night. The underdog Celtics is not a team you want to underestimate, and I think I speak for most people when I say a lot of fans underestimated how good this team was going to be.
Coming into the season, more question marks were surrounding the team than anything. How will Kemba Walker fit into the system? Will Jayson Tatum make the jump? Will Jaylen Brown have a bounceback year after being benched and signing a contract extension that people said was too much? Would Gordon Hayward be able to coincide next to the two Jays?
Well, we got the answers to all of those questions, and the answers to those questions are the reason why the Celtics are in the position they are in. Kemba Walker is the perfect point guard to have and compliments every player on this team so well. Jayson Tatum did, in fact, make the leap, and I think that’s an understatement. Jaylen Brown had a monster year, a complete turnaround from last season. Gordon Hayward proved he can be an effective fourth option on the team.
Throughout the regular season, the Celtics proved they can compete and beat any team in the league. They’ve beaten championship-favorites like the Clippers, Lakers, and Bucks. They’ve beaten other top-tier teams like the Raptors, Heat, and Nuggets. The list goes on and on, but they can stand toe-to-toe with the best of them.
What does this mean come playoff time? Unfortunately, we don’t know for sure how the NBA will decide the seeding, whether it’ll be a regular playoff format or a 1-16 seeding format.
It’d be a tough road to the finals for Boston if they had to go through the 76ers, Clippers, and the Bucks just to make it there. When it comes to the playoffs, and in a seven-game series, anything can happen. I have confidence that the Celtics can do something nobody would expect them to do. Like I’ve said about the underdog Celtics in the past, when this team has their backs against the wall, they can do just about anything.
I would feel much more confident in the Celtics if the NBA returned with the regular playoff format, though. In that case, I’d have the utmost confidence that the Celtics would make it to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Personally, I believe that this year the Bucks are making it out of the East and will match up with the Lakers in the NBA Finals. The Celtics beat the Bucks during the regular season, and they can do it again, but Giannis Antetokounmpo has been on another level this year. Giannis might become only the third player in NBA history to an MVP and DPOY in the same season. That’s just how special of a year he’s had.
Regardless of the end result, I expect Jayson Tatum to have an exceptional playoff run. He’s become a star in front of our very eyes in such a short amount of time. In 2018, he proved that he can be a top option on a playoff team at the young age of 19. I can guarantee you he can lead this team now at the age of 22.
Kemba Walker hasn’t seen the postseason much during his time in Charlotte, but he was born for the bright lights. He’ll remind everybody why they call him “Cardiac Kemba.”
Despite being benched last season, Jaylen Brown still showed up in the playoffs and was one of Boston’s most effective players. His stats aren’t the sexiest thing you’ll see, but that tells us more about how bad the team was, not him. He was right next to Jayson Tatum as far as being a top option during the 2018 playoff run. He’ll be right next to Tatum again during this run, too.
Gordon Hayward has had a long road to recovery, but he’s proven that he can still be a massive contribution to a winning team. With Gordon Hayward as a fourth option, that makes this Celtics team that much more dangerous. This is what happens when you stay patient and don’t panic trade somebody because he’s coming off a career-changing injury.
The Celtics are in a terrific spot to make a ton of noise this postseason. They’re young, hungry, and ready to prove all the doubters wrong. If anybody can do it, it’s the underdog Celtics. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the playoffs to start.