In the 2024 NBA, can the Celtics win the title again?

Jun 20, 2024

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BOSTON – While Jrue Holiday was thrilled to be raising the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy once more, he seemed just as thrilled to be sitting in the front row watching Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown win an NBA championship for the first time. It was heartwarming to watch the two young superstar wings of the Boston Celtics arrive at this historic moment, as they have so many others over the previous seven seasons, as a team.

After the Celtics completed a 106-88 victory against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Finals to advance to the summit of the mountain, Holiday remarked on Monday night, “It’s been great to experience on this side, and to be on this side and get this win.” “Hopefully, it relieves them of a burden.”

But there’s something about this that a veterinarian like Holiday knows that his more excitable, youthful colleagues may not have fully grasped yet. As you can see, the joy that arises from letting go of the burden of “can’t win the big one” and raising a massive golden trophy may be ephemeral. After all, what really is happiness? There is a split second before you want more joy.

“Repeating it is an additional burden,” stated Holiday. That’s a technique that’s getting harder and harder to execute in the current NBA, where squad rebuilding and player movement are happening at such a breakneck speed that almost every seemingly unstoppable road to contention appears to be closing in a maximum of two years.

Since Kevin Durant was a member of the Warriors, the previous six seasons have concluded with a different club ruling the league. Projecting forward to this time next year, you’d probably be better off taking the field over the incumbent in a 30-team sport with maybe the richest skill pool and the broadest spread of such talent in league history.

And yet, there is a strong chance that Boston may find itself in a similar situation come June of next year—and possibly for a few more springs after that. This may just be the result of recency bias and a near-complete lack of sleep.

Brown, who signed the largest contract in NBA history at the start of the league season and was voted the Most Valuable Player of the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals at the conclusion, stated, “I think we have an opportunity.” We’ve had a pretty damn terrific year, you know.) “I think we definitely have a window,”

It’s definitely important to take a moment to reflect on how incredibly dominating Boston was this season before looking forward to the next one. No club has ever won more than 50 points, 30 points, or 25 points in a single season. The Celtics are the 26th team in NBA history to win 64 games or more during the regular season. With a 16-3 record in the playoffs, they are second only to the 2016–17 Durant–led Warriors in terms of winning percentage of any winner since the league switched to seven-game series in every round.

They are only the 14th team in league history to record over 80 wins in a season, and they join an exclusive group that includes some of the greatest teams ever to play in the league: the 1971–72 Lakers, who won 33 games in a row; the 1985–86 Celtics and the 1986–87 Lakers, which are arguably the pinnacles of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson’s legendary runs; the 1999–00 Lakers, led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant; the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce/Ray Allen 2007–08 Celtics, who defeated the Kobe/Pau Gasol Lakers; the 2008–09 Lakers team, which recovered the following season by defeating the upstart Orlando Magic in the Finals; the 2012 Big Three Miami Heat; and three iterations each of Michael Jordan’s Bulls (1991–92, ’95–96, and ’96–97) and Stephen Curry’s Warriors (2014–15,’15-16, and ’16-17).

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