It’s been a long time since the Boston Celtics won the NBA Finals, winning a seven-game thriller against the Los Angeles Lakers back in 2008. Since then, they’ve struggled to repeat their success and last reached the Finals more than ten years ago in 2010. Now, they’re playing in the Finals once more, facing off against the Golden State Warriors. While they certainly weren’t favorites at the beginning of the season, they’re really starting to look capable of pulling off a win now and have played well to get this far.
Can the Celtics win the 2022 NBA Finals?
With big wins over the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, the Celtics dispatched the Miami Heat 4-3, to reach the Finals for the first time since 2010. Currently, the Celtics are tied for the most Finals wins in NBA history with the Los Angeles Lakers; both teams have 17 NBA championships between them.
Now, the Celtics have a fantastic chance to get ahead of their opponents and are second-favorites to win the Championship at Betway, with odds of +140. Here are some of the reasons why they could win this season.
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A Strong Partnership Between Tatum and Brown
In a lot of cases, NBA Championships are won by star players. But, in the case of the Celtics, they have two incredibly performers this season. The partnership between Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown has been brilliant to watch. Although they’ve always been great players in their own right, they’ve really turned it on this season and have formed a strong connection.
Earlier in the season, the Celtics were struggling and some fans even suggested that one or both should be traded. However, as the season has gone on, they’ve come into their own. Tatum has become one of the best players in the league, averaging 27 points per game, while Brown has become incredibly efficient with his shooting. The best news for Celtics fans is that both players are still young, so even if they don’t win this season, it’s not necessarily the end of the world.
Proven Against Some of the Toughest Teams
Often, a team will get through the playoffs by beating subpar competition before being obliterated in the Finals by the first decent team they’ve faced. However, the Celtics have played some of the toughest teams in the league, showing that they’re more than ready to win. They were the only team in the East to end the regular season with a winning record versus winning teams. This included wins over the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, and Denver Nuggets.
Boston eliminates the teams that beat them in the past three seasons to advance to the 2022 NBA Finals ☘️ pic.twitter.com/ntrl3oEKaz
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 30, 2022
Their most dominant performance came against the Nets, who they swept 4-0 in the first round of the playoffs. They were able to nullify talented players such as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and upset the odds. The Celtics clearly have no fear of anyone, which is vital for any Championship-winning team. Now that they’ve reached the final, they’ll be facing the Golden State Warriors, who are favorites to win the league. Their win over them earlier in the season should give them the confidence they need to succeed.
A Defense That Works Together
Defending as a team is a crucial aspect of high-level basketball and something that’s become more important than ever in recent seasons. Teams can no longer rely on a handful of players to chip in defensively, with a team effort always being more effective.
Since Christmas, Boston has had the best defense in the league, with a defensive rating of 100.4. This was a big change in fortunes from earlier in the season when the team was struggling to put everything together.
Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown have been a major part of the successful defense, and are both considered two of the best when it comes to on-ball defense. During the finals, a strong defense is one of the most important characteristics of a successful team.