Opinion: The Boston Celtics will be the 2023 NBA Champions

Simon Bleier '24, Contributing Writer

The Celtics currently are 42-17 and sit atop the NBA heading into the All-Star break. The Celtics are easily the best team in the league, and I can confidently say they will win the NBA Finals.

Last year, the Celtics fell just short of a championship, losing to the Golden State Warriors 4-2. Since then, the Celtics have only gotten better. They have added a key role player, Malcolm Brogdon, in the off-season. Brogdan is shining so far, averaging the third-most points behind Tatum and Brown and filling into the starting lineup whenever a starter has an injury.

Another critical addition that has gone under the radar is the acquisition of veteran forward Mike Muscala during the trade deadline. Muscala will significantly help the Celtics in their championship run by giving them depth, stellar three-point shooting, and a veteran presence.

Currently, the Celtics are firing on all cylinders and playing a balanced, fast-paced game that leaves opponents without answers.

The C’s success is occurring against everyone in the league. They are 17-8 against teams over .500 and have done so with the absence of several players throughout the season.

This success is a product of C’s impressive offense, which ranks third in offensive rating and scores the fourth most in the league. This offense consists of arguably the best star tandem in the league: Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The two All-Stars average north of 26 points per game and continue leading this team to wins.

To pair with this unstoppable offense, the Celtics boast a suffocating defense. They rank fifth in defensive ranking and allow the seventh-fewest points per game. And you know what they say: “Offense wins games, defense wins championships.”

These offensive and defensive stats separately put them in championship contention; however, when you combine them, it is evident the Celtics are the best team in the league. They lead the league in net rating (a combination of offensive and defensive rating) and have the greatest point differential in the Association.

The stats do not lie.

The one worry I have for this team is their health. The C’s have proven they cannot stay healthy throughout the season. Celtics stars Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III have missed significant time, and more recently, Jaylen Brown has picked up an injury. The Celtics’ preferred starting five, consisting of Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, and Robert Williams III, has only played 29 minutes together this season and started just one game. This team plays at only a fraction of its true potential and is still the best in the league.

If this team is fully or somewhat healthy, they will be virtually unstoppable and become the 2023 NBA Champions.

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