Celtics favored to win Eastern Conference next season
The Boston Celtics were one of the busiest teams in the offseason as they made numerous moves to improve the team in hopes of contending with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors for NBA supremacy.
With the moves they made during the offseason, including the acquisition of Kyrie Irving, the Boston Celtics odds to win title were expected to be favorable. However, the most recent odds give the Celtics a 12 percent chance of winning the NBA title.
According to ESPN’s Power Index, the Golden State Warriors have the best chance of winning the NBA championship at 57.9 percent. The Celtics follow the Warriors at 12 percent, but are 4th in BPI, behind the Warriors, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs.
ESPN also has the Warriors vs Celtics in the NBA Finals, with the matchup given a 25 percent chance of happening.
So, why did Boston become one of the favorites to win the title this season?
It’s quite simple, Boston fans need to send gift baskets to general manager Danny Ainge whose patience made it all possible.
The Celtics have been collecting draft picks since Ainge took over the team, using some of them on some of the talent they have drafted, and the other picks as trade bait.
During the offseason, the Celtics missed out on a trade for Oklahoma City’s Paul George, who wanted out of Indiana after the season ended. However, the Celtics could not swing a trade because Indiana wanted more than the Celtics were willing to offer, despite not having any leverage, and eventually traded Paul to Oklahoma City for peanuts.
In July, a report surfaced that Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, who was coming off his third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, wanted out of Cleveland. While other teams were still speculating if the Cavs would trade their young star, Ainge swooped in and offered the Cavs Isaiah Thomas and some of the draft picks he had been holding on to.
For the Celtics, the move was a no-brainer because they knew they would be without Thomas, who injured his hip in the playoffs last year, for some time, and didn’t want to wait until he was healthy.
The Cavs also understood that they would likely lose LeBron James in the offseason if they didn’t improve their roster, so trading Irving for assets made a lot of sense.
In addition to Irving, the Celtics also landed prized free agent Gordon Hayward, and believe they have a team that can defeat the Cavaliers this season, especially since the Cavs will be without the services of Thomas for an extended period of time.
While Celtics fans are excited about being forecast as the team to beat in the Eastern Conference, they have to remember that the games still have to be played, and anything can happen.
This team will feature 11 new players, so this isn’t the same Celtics team that went to the Eastern Conference Finals last season. Also, even though he has been relatively healthy the past two seasons, Irving has an injury history that can’t be ignored, so there’s no guarantee he will play all 82 games this year.
After dealing with the hype all summer, Celtics fans don’t have to wait much longer to see their team in action because training camps start next week.