It is no secret that the state of Massachusetts has a zero excuse policy when it comes to their sports teams. The Boston Celtics are no exception. Having gone through a rigorous season which led to the loss of both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.
The Celtics have responded to losing both players by trusting the roster as well as head coach Brad Stevens. The emergence of backup point guard Terry Rozier and young forwards Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum has given Celtic fans hope that even being down two All-Star players they can still compete in the playoffs. “Scary Terry” is averaging 17.4 points, 5.9 dimes, and 5.5 rebounds during this playoff run. Brown is tied for second in points with Rozier while Tatum, a rookie, leads Boston in points with 18.6.
The play of Al Horford has really gone unnoticed as he has become the anchor for the team together and making them believe they can win. His energy and tenaciousness is a welcome sign for Celtics fans as they see how valuable he really is. During the season, he averaged 12.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and shot 48.9 percent from the field. Playoff Al is another story as he has averaged 17.2 points, 8.3 boards, and 3.5 assists while shooting a staggering 59.3 percent.
As a team, the Celtics have not been just competing and winning, they have been winning convincingly. It makes everyone wonder if this team was at full strength would they be the favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference. Nonetheless, the Celtics are not making any excuses and are keeping the train moving. They got through the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round and the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round. They took the first two games against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals too. The Celtics made it look easy as they completely took LeBron James out of Game 1.
Everyone knew the Celtics would be able to hold their own against the reigning Eastern Conference champs, but this. Heck, most even counted them out against the Cavaliers. Facing James is already tough enough, but to do it undermanned is an even tougher challenge. The Celtics are displaying a “we don’t fear anyone” mentality and maybe it’s the past greats that have dawned the Celtic green before that are pushing this new young Celtics team beyond probably what most of them even thought they would achieve this season.
The Celtics would like nothing more than to show the world that last season’s playoff matchup was a fluke and that they are more than what they displayed last season. The Celtics fired the first shot and the rest of this series against the Cavaliers should be exciting for the Celtics and the fans to watch.