2018-2019 Boston Celtics
Obviously the Celtics had a great season this past year despite losing a star player; Gordon Hayward in the first game of the season and missing all star point guard, Kyrie Irving throughout playoffs. They lost in a hard fought 7 game series to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. But now the path is clear for them to take the East and make the finals this year.
Now before I go any further I should let it be known that I am a die hard Celtics fan and have been since the big three of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. So everything I say has some bias to it. Despite this I truly believe that to anyone looking at the Eastern conference right now the winner is clear. The Celtics have so much depth on their team in every position. Of course they have the veterans like Kyrie and Al Horford, but they also have young stars like Jalen Brown and Jayson Tatum. These two young guns really stepped it up in the playoffs and carried the team as a rookie and a second year player. My expectations for both of them this year are through the roof. You also have players like Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart returning to the team. Both are huge role players who provide more than points to a team. I was very excited to see the Celtics re-sign Smart since his hustle and hard work on the court are irreplaceable and hard to find in players now a days. Also with Hayward returning, they can only improve upon what they did last year.
Another big reason that the Celtics are a top contender in the East is the movement of LeBron the Lakers. With that beast of a human being playing in the West with the evil juggernaut that is the Warriors, he will no longer single-handedly ruin seasons in the East any longer. The biggest competition for the Celtics will be the young Philadelphia 76’ers. With Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, they are not to be taken lightly. While the Celtics did beat them in the playoffs last year, it is not a guaranteed win when the two teams inevitably face off again in this upcoming season. Another team that could provide some trouble is the Toronto Raptors. That is a huge “if” however, since their entire season basically lies in the hands of Kawhi Leonard. If he decides that he likes it in Toronto and plays his hardest, then they will also be a threat. BUT if the trade to the great north pissed him off enough he may lose interest and not be the MVP candidate we are used to.
In the end however, all this is just a battle for the East. The West is already decided and the championship along with it. I cannot fathom a team beating the Warriors this upcoming season. Especially since acquiring DeMarcus Cousins in the offseason. Despite this I am still excited for this season and looking forward to the Celtics have another fantastic year.