Forsberg: What’s next for the Celtics exactly one year after their epic turnaround? appeared in the original NBC Sports Boston
Monday marked the first anniversary of the People’s Republic of China Boston Celtics The 2022 ignited a second-half rush that propelled them to the NBA Finals. Over the 82 games that started with the January 23, 2022 win in Washington, Boston has posted a 63-19 record for an amazing . 768 winning percentage.
We’re cheating here because Boston’s dominance spans two different seasons but only five teams in franchise history have recorded a better 82-game record. Four of them won the NBA title. (The 1973 Celtics posted a franchise-best mark of 68-14, but lost in the Eastern Conference Finals.)
So if you need a little palate cleanser after enduring the Celtics Their third head slapping loss of the season to Orlando Magic On Monday night, take a step back and embrace the greatness of the previous 365 days.
Why Jason Tatum He briefly took himself off the Magic Celtics
The 2022-23 Celtics – Magical Games – have established themselves as the best team in basketball. Not only does Boston have the best record in the NBA, but they have four games over their nearest rival in the East, easing the occasional fumble against an inferior opponent.
Still, the amount of change that can change in a year is enormous. Before Jason Tatum Boston’s 51-point blast lit the fuse against the Wizards last year, and the biggest moment of the 2021-22 season was Joe Johnson’s trashy scoring for the coronavirus-ravaged Celtics.
The first half of last season saw hot shots About whether Tatum and Jaylen Brown They can really thrive together and lots of competition to coach Udoka made Firm words for his inconsistent squad. In between it all, we watched the guys love Evan Fournier They have unlikely revenge games while the Celtics stayed three games under . 500 and sat outside bracket play near the middle of last season.
Fast forward to the present and things are a lot different. Jays thrive both individually and in pairs. Tatum is an MVP favorite, and Brown has played at the All-NBA level, which could open the door to a long-term extension this summer. Brad Stephens has created a deep roster of championship caliber. Joe Mazola He faithfully steered the ship forward after the Udoka scandal threatened to send things aside ahead of the start of the new season.
We fill the time now wondering about things like, should the Celtics make a move to strengthen the ninth man on their roster because Sam Hauser Retreat after a blistering start to the season?
Yes, things are good in Celtics land. We can worry about tatum’s total minutes Left wrist injury that has been bothering him for almost a full year now. We can worry about Boston not always responding well against teams in size and fitness.
Unfortunately, Boston is a better 17-5 in the NBA versus teams above .500. After a year of struggling in stressful situations, the Celtics are 15-5 in this case (scoring within five points in the final five minutes) this year, the second-best mark in the league behind only networks.
We’ll continue to worry about the roster, even if it feels like any addition would be largely to help pace the team to the finish line of the regular season. The team still has enough assets to make a little brag, perhaps adding a playoff-ready wing to reduce overall wear on the Jays, or looking for a senior team that can help ensure Al Horford And Robert Williams III stay upright
But even when there’s no action, the Celtics will have a solid eight-man rotation. Extra depth may be a luxury, but insurance wouldn’t be the worst idea for a team that routinely has to deal with injuries at inopportune times.
Few imagined how the last 365 days ended. The Celtics had a lot of question marks this time last year, even as they were starting to get going. Stevens quietly made an eyebrow-raising move at the deadline with his possession Derek White And he removed much of Boston’s roster clutter, helping the team’s rise.
Now Stevens may be looking for the final pieces of that puzzle. Perhaps this is as simple as grabbing the best body available from the acquisition junk pile. Perhaps it means being more aggressive with the Celtics firmly established as title favorites.
The past year has been full of success. But falling short of the finals continues to lead the 2022-23 edition of this club. Don’t hang banners for team success between January and January.
The story of these Celtics will be about whether they are able to make progress from June to June.