I equate the start of basketball season to the actual holiday season. It’s full of excitement, expectations, joy, and my parents still asking me when I’m going to move out of the house.
The Celtics open up in Cleveland tonight if you haven’t already heard for the billionth time. Kyrie returns to Cleveland to face LeBron! LeBron might not play! Marcus Smart dropped 20 pounds and can hit the backboard from 30 feet away now!
All of these things are things you know. The Celtics are returning four (YES FOUR) players from last year’s squad that lost to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals in 5 games. The Celtics traded away one of their most likable players in franchise history in Isaiah Thomas along with Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the coveted Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick in the 2018 draft, plus a 2020 second-rounder because Dan Gilbert is the biggest idiot in the history of owner’s of professional sports teams. Oh yeah, and people seem to forget that Gordon Hayward also signed with the team as well. That gets lost in all the Kyrie madness.
You hear that people? IT’S BAE-WARD SZN
But again… these are things that are known, and I’m not about to shove all that old news down your throat again because that’s what ESPN is for. Instead, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to expect more out of the 2017-2018 Boston Celtics.
I sound like an asshole, saying it. I don’t really care, though. How can you expect MORE out of a team that reached the Eastern Conference Finals? — I’ll tell you how.
Anyone with a brain knew last year’s Celtics weren’t the true number one seed in the East. Everyone knew the road to the NBA Finals went through Cleveland and quite honestly it still does. If you truly thought the Celtics were going to beat Cleveland and go onto the NBA Finals last year I have a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge I would like to sell you. Even with the inspiring performance from Isaiah and the likability of that Celtics team, they were overmatched. So what is the difference now with this new season upon us?
I actually believe they can reach the NBA Finals and you should too.
It’s no longer a long shot when it comes to if they can beat Cleveland. Is Cleveland still the favorite to come out of the East and go on to lose to Golden State in the Finals? Yes, and rightfully so. However, this is no longer a Celtics team that’s “Playing with house money” … They are no longer the lovable losing underdog. They traded all of that cushion away when they shipped Isaiah out of town along with what could be next year’s number one pick.
Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland because he wants to be THE GUY. He got that. Gordon Hayward left Utah for a better chance at a title. He got that. Celtics fans have been saying after the last three playoff exits that, “We just need a few more pieces to contend” … We got that. So now it’s time to go and expect it.
Let’s ride. It’s time to boogie, Celtics fans.