Why The Boston Celtics Have No Excuse Not To Win The 2024 NBA Championship


  • The Boston Celtics have the best roster since the late-2000s Big 3, solving past issues.
  • Tatum, Brown, White, & Porzingis are playing their best basketball, addressing weaknesses.
  • The path to the Finals for the Celtics is clear, facing easier competition due to injuries from rivals.

The Boston Celtics have dominated the NBA in 2023-24 to a degree that is rarely seen in the league, boasting the fourth-best net rating ever and a 64-18 record that was seven games better than the second-place Oklahoma City Thunder. After making off-season trades for Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis while parting ways with Marcus Smart, Grant Williams, Robert Williams, and Malcolm Brogdon, Boston reached a higher level that they hadn’t previously.

Despite having stacked rosters and posting several dominant regular seasons over the past six seasons, the Jayson Tatum/Jaylen Brown duo has yet to break through and capture an NBA Championship. Heartbreaking losses such as Game 7 vs. the Miami Heat, the NBA Finals vs. the Golden State Warriors, or the excruciating Game 7 defeat to LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers have defined this era in Celtics basketball.

Still, this franchise has won more games than any other since 2017 and has constantly been a contender in the East, winning 14 playoff series in that span. They have exemplified excellence for an NBA organization, continually building elite rosters year after year.

However, the Celtics have assembled their best squad in the Tatum/Brown era. The time to break through is now.

Celtics’ Roster Is Their Best Since the Late-2000s Big 3

They’ve seemingly fixed the issues that doomed them in the past

Boston Celtics Jaylen Brown Jayson Tatum Derrick White

There’s a reason the Celtics have been so dominant this season, as they’ve put together an incredible five-man unit as well as a solid eight-man rotation behind them. In the past, Boston has fallen short in big games partly because they simply couldn’t trust the players around Tatum and Brown. Oftentimes, the culprit was Marcus Smart’s shot selection and spot-up weaknesses or the inconsistent health of Robert Williams.

Boston has typically had to rely on role players who couldn’t step up in the biggest moments. Names like Terry Rozier and Daniel Theis come to mind, but the Celtics have completely eliminated this problem with a masterful off-season from general manager Brad Stevens. Boston now has eight players who they fully trust, with Al Horford, Payton Pritchard, and Sam Hauser coming off the bench.

Replacement Production


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The Porzingis trade solved a glaring weakness that haunted Boston in the playoffs for years by allowing the Celtics to prioritize both offense and defense at the center position. Previously, they were forced to decide between offense and spacing with Horford or rim protection with Williams at center. Porzingis provides spacing, a lob threat, and a post-up presence, while also being one of the better rim protectors in the league and competently guarding switches on the perimeter.

Holiday is simply a huge upgrade on both sides of the ball over the fan-favorite Smart. He can guard all five positions due to his incredible strength, but doesn’t hurt Boston’s offense with poor decision-making.

Boston Is Getting the Best Version of Four Starters

Tatum, Brown, White, and Porzingis are all playing their best basketball

Boston Celtics Jaylen Brown Jayson Tatum Kristaps Porzingis

Another factor that consistently doomed the Celtics in past playoff exits was their best players’ inability to match the excellence of opposing superstars in the late rounds of the postseason. NBA fans will always remember Jimmy Butler stealing the soul of Boston in multiple Conference Finals, James’ superhuman heroics in 2018, or Stephen Curry’s clutch performances snatching a championship from Boston in 2022.

Both Tatum and Brown had debilitating weaknesses that have shown through their defeats. Brown’s lack of a reliable left-hand and poor overall dribbling control has been the butt of jokes in the NBA community for the past few years, while Tatum’s reliance on his pull-up jumper as his main source of offense has caused playoff inconsistencies.

Each player has improved drastically in these areas in 2023-24. Tatum has addressed his issues by going to the post more, where he has been one of the league’s best, although he still relies on the jump shot too heavily. Brown has improved his ball control through hard work and better decision-making, leading to a five-year low in turnovers. The eye test shows that his handle has been much better this season, but a difficult playoff test against a legitimate defense will truly tell how much has changed.

Additionally, both Derrick White and Kristaps Porzingis have reached their apex form in Boston, taking advantage of the higher quality of opportunities they have with this roster. After being used as an isolation scorer as a New York Knick, a pure spot-up threat as a Dallas Maverick, and a scorer in a losing situation as a Washington Wizard, Porzingis has found a perfect spot in Boston.

Porzingis’ role in Boston as a do-everything big who can weaponize his size, quickness, and shooting range has allowed him to reach his peak value. Derrick White has blossomed into a perfect supplementary player to Boston’s stars due to his elite defense and spot-up abilities, while also becoming a lethal shot creator in isolation and pick-and-roll.

White/Porzingis Career Years




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Celtics’ Path to the Finals is Clear

Boston has remained healthy, while their competition has not

Jayson Tatum Jaylen Brown Boston Celtics

The biggest reason Boston has no excuse to not hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy this season is how easy their path has suddenly become. The Celtics earned the easiest road to the NBA Finals by capturing the number one overall seed, but they have caught a number of injury breaks that make it that much easier.

In each series they have played so far, their opponent’s best player has missed time with an injury. Donovan Mitchell missed the final two games of the series after playing extremely well in the playoffs, and Butler sat out the entire series after suffering a knee injury in the play-in.

Furthermore, in the Conference Finals, they will either face off against an overmatched Indiana Pacers squad or a Knicks team depleted from injuries. With only a minor scare for Porzingis that should heal soon, Boston’s road to the Finals could not be more clear.

Celtics vs. East/West


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Meanwhile, the Western Conference playoffs have been a bloodbath, featuring four teams who would have a claim as the second-best team in the East. This not only makes it harder for a team like the Denver Nuggets to win three difficult rounds but also just to make it through these dogfights without suffering injury. Dallas, Denver, and the Minnesota Timberwolves have all dealt with injuries throughout these playoffs and will be less than a finished product when they meet Boston.


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