After one rebuilding year and two first round exits, the Boston Celtics are in shape to make their best run towards title number 18 since the 2011-12 season. With two games remaining on the schedule, Boston Stands at 51-29 and just .5 a game behind the defending champs, the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference standings. The two remaining games are against the Brooklyn Nets (20-60), and the Milwaukee Bucks (41-39). Although it may seem as if the game against Brooklyn is an easy win, it is tough to ignore the fact that Brooklyn is 6-4 in their last ten games. On the other hand Boston and Milwaukee are split at 1 game a piece for the season, with the season finale Wednesday Night being the rubber match. Hypothetically lets say Boston wins out, Cleveland’s remaining 3 games consist of 2 playoff teams in Toronto (50-31) and Atlanta (41-38), and 1 playoff hopeful in Miami (39-41) who are currently tied with Chicago for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. Not only are these three games tough match ups for Cleveland, but two of them are also played away from Quicken Loans Arena. Considering the fact that the Cavs own the season series tie breaker, if Boston does win out, Cleveland needs to go 1-2 to close out the season for the Celtics to secure the 1st seed. *Sends a prayer to the Basketball Gods*
Although the remaining games for the Cavs are tough, lets not ignore the fact that they still have the best player in the world in LeBron James, so it is hard not to pick the Cavs to win their remaining games. With that being said, lets give Boston the 2nd seed in the EC. It is tough to say who the Celtics would be playing, considering the teams who can be slotted in at the 7th seed are all separated by 2.5 games or less. To make things easier, we will go with who would be the 7th seed if the season ended today, which would be the Indiana Pacers (40-40). The Pacers do have one of the top superstars in the league in Paul George, who the Celtics almost acquired at the trade deadline. While the Pacers do have PG and some other nice pieces in Jeff Teague and Myles Turner, there’s no denying that Boston is the better team and it shows, as Boston has swept Indiana for the season with a clean 3-0 record. If this does end up being the first round match up for the Celtics, PG and company can push them, but it should be an easy series win in 5 games. Next step in the quest for 18 would be the Eastern Conference Semi Finals.
Once again we will go with who the Celtics could draw in the EC – Semis if the season ended today. The two teams Boston could play would be either Toronto or Milwaukee. The Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Bucks could give Toronto a run for their money but Toronto is heating up at the right time as they have gone (8-2) in their last ten games, so Toronto wins this series in 6 and advances to play a division rival in Boston. Toronto owns the season series against Boston with a (3-1) record but all four games been decided by 10 points or less. Although the same can be said for Boston as of late, it seems as if Toronto can never get it done in the playoffs. That will be the same narrative this year as Toronto falls to Boston in 7 games in a hard fought battle between two division rivals. This gives Boston their first Eastern Conference Finals Berth since the 2011-12 season.
There’s no need to try and guess who the Celtics could be playing here in the ECF, everyone knows that this will be a match up between Boston and Cleveland. Boston surprises the Cavs and wins the first game of the series. People start questioning LeBron on whether or not he is worried and he reminds them that he’s been to 6 straight Finals and being down 1-0 is nothing to worry about. LBJ backs that up with two huge games as the Cavs take a big 2-1 lead in the series. Boston knows it is crucial not to fall behind 3 games to 1, knowing this they tie the series 2-2 at home. The Cavs take game 5 and now LeBron is 1 win away from reaching a 7th straight finals berth. The fans of Boston don’t give up on their team and the Celtics don’t wan’t to lose back in the Garden so they just squeeze by the Cavs to force a game 7. Coming off a seven game series in the EC Semis the Celtics are now exhausted but know they are just one win away from knocking off LBJ and shocking the world. Game 7 is neck and neck throughout but Boston will not give up. Down 1 with 15 seconds left, the smallest guy on the court now has the ball. His name is Isaiah Thomas, known as the King of the 4th quarter. The seconds count down as Kyrie Irving stares Thomas in the eyes. IT begins to drive to the basket and at the last second steps back and puts up the shot. Every fan is Boston is silent and it seems as if time is moving in slow motion as they wait to see whether or not the shot sinks through the net. The buzzer sounds and the shot goes in and the King, is shocked by the King of the Fourth Quarter, as the Celtics clinch a berth in the NBA Finals and the quest for title number 18 is just four wins away.
NBA fans across the world are shocked to see that rather than getting Cavs Warriors III, they are now seeing Celtics and Spurs battling for the NBA Finals. Many view Coach Pop, Kahwi Leonard, and the rest of the Spurs as the clear cut favorite. While it may be tough to doubt the likes of Coach Pop, who is arguably one of the greatest coaches in the history in of the league, if not the greatest, people tend to say that in order to be the best you have to defeat the best. With that being said the Celtics have just knocked off the best player on the planet and the defending champs. Being able to knock off the defending champs pushes the Celtics past the Spurs in 6 games to secure their 18th NBA Finals Championship. Isaiah Thomas joins Boston Legends David Ortiz and Tom Brady as players who were never thought to be very special, but have proved their doubters wrong as the trio has now brought 9 championships to the city of Boston. Thomas, the 60th and final pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, now brings the Larry O’Brien Trophy and the Bill Russell Finals MVP award back to where it belongs, as he goes down in Boston sports history as the David to the Goliath as he dethroned King James from the top of the league, and delivered yet another championship, to the City of Champions.