The Celtics won't be blamed for their inexperience if they don't win this year. (2023)


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Boston has star players, a bench and recently N.B.A. endgame experience. What the team won't have if they lose in the playoffs will be excuses.

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The Celtics won't be blamed for their inexperience if they don't win this year. (1)

VonSopan Deb

Jayson Tatum made no guarantees for the Boston Celtics' second half of the season, but he was sure of one thing.

"Have we improved since last year?" Tatum told reporters during the NBA All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City. "Yes much better".

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Tatum had every reason to be confident. His stash has never been bigger, as evidenced by this week's unveiling of his own signature shoe. In the basketball world, that's an indication that Tatum is an NBA grad. star for the N.B.A.Stern. He would win the Most Valuable Player award in the farce known as the All-Star Game, a cap on an already M.V.P. which you have

He's also the best player on the NBA's best team, with the burden of championship expectations on his shoulders and those of fellow All-Star and teammate Jaylen Brown. This would be an enviable position for most teams. But the pressure is exponentially greater in a city that's home to a hungry fanbase and a franchise with a long history of winning championships.

When asked if the Celtics function as an established powerhouse rather than underdogs, Tatum previously consulted The Professional Sportsman's Clichés Handbook.

"No pressure," Tatum said. “We felt like we were one of the best teams, if not the best, all season. The goal was always the same: to win a championship. So, you know, just do the right thing. Don't skip any steps. Live one day at a time."

For Boston's remaining 23 regular-season games and a potential playoff run, the test will be far greater than that of last year's young rookie roster. The Celtics (42-17) have too many ways to fail and only one way to be considered successful.


"Our environment will change," said Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla at a press conference. "And then we have to make sure we don't do it."

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Last week, Mazzulla had the provisional tag removed from his title. He took over just before training camp when last year's coach Ime Udoka was suspendedunspecified violationsteam policies. The suspension came as a shock as the Celtics were a burgeoning franchise, emerging from a late round in a league where continuity is key. Almost as surprisingly, Brad Stevens, president of the basketball operations team and predecessor to Udoka, presented the keys to Mazzulla, who was an assistant with the Celtics for three years but never made it to the NBA. Trainer.

All Mazzulla had to do was lead the Celtics to a championship. No training wheels. No emotional victories. Easy wins.

His presence created a strange and unusual dynamic. For much of the season, Udoka was technically set to return in 2023-24 regardless of how Mazzulla fared. But Mazzulla led the Celtics to a smashing 18-4 win and allayed doubts that his lack of experience would harm an elite team. Eventually, the Celtics awarded Mazzulla what could be described as NBA gold. Education: Security.

The east is great. Obviously the West is loaded," Stevens said on a conference call last week. "It's going to be very difficult to win." He added that it would be difficult to "look back and look over your shoulder".

Mazzulla may not be looking over his shoulder anymore, but the Celtics should because teams win them over. From the good start the team looked just above average at 23-13 instead of beating the world. They are now just half a game ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks (41-17) for the best record in the NBA and top seed in the East. Mazzulla has been criticized for not calling for time-outs at crucial moments in games. In the last 15 games, the Celtics have had onebelow average offense. During their 18-4 run at the start of the season, the Celtics not only had the best offense in the NBA, but also one of the best offenses in league history. The good news for Boston is that their defense has steadily improved while their offense has waned.

The Celtics are likely to get a boost in the great gift of health after the All-Star break. The starting XI that took the team to the playoffs last year (Tatum, Brown, Marcus Smart, Al Horford and Robert Williams III) only played29 minutes together this season. The unit is expected to be at full capacity in the final leg of the season.

But even with injuries, the team is deep enough to be able to keep up. Sixth-year point guard Derrick White has been a revelation in his first full season in Boston. InEighth games in FebruaryWhite replaced the injured Smart and averaged 21.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. Malcolm Brogdon, who the Celtics acquired from Indiana in an offseason trade, was a reliable contributor and one of the league's best 3-pointers. Brogdon and White would likely start most NBA games. Teams That the Celtics hope to use them as reserves is a luxury. In one of their final games before the All-Star break, the Celtics nearly beat the Bucks away despite losing almost all of their best players.


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The talent is there for the Celtics to win the championship. They're packed with star players, snipers, and top-notch defenders who can play in multiple positions. You can counter Philadelphia's Joel Embiid and Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo with a steady rotation of mobile forwards, including Horford. Their division rivals, the Nets, imploded on deadline day and traded their remaining stars, sending Kyrie Irving to Dallas and Kevin Durant to Phoenix.

But many teams go into the playoffs with talent, like Boston did last year. Now, Brown pointed out, the Celtics should be better prepared for a grueling playoff run after last year's finals against Golden State, when the team made uncharacteristic and reckless mistakes and lost the series in six games.

"I think this year we got a little bit more experience," Brown told reporters. "So I think that will carry over to the final."

Anecdotal evidence suggests continuity and experience for the N.B.A. teams to win championships and that failures in the playoffs are stepping stones to immortality. Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s feuded with the Bad Boys Pistons teams before beginning their reigns. The same can be said of the Miami Heat, who lost heavily in previous playoffs before winning their championships in 2006 and 2012. It's extremely rare for young teams to win championships, although Magic Johnson was onepartly crucialof the Los Angeles Lakers during their 1980 rookie season and Tim Duncan led the San Antonio Spurs into a ring in 1999in your second.

Some teams never make it, even with experience and talent, like LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers in the late 2000s. The jury is still out on the Phoenix Suns, who lost in the second round last year after losing two games from winning were removed from the championship in 2021.

It's the Celtics' best chance since 2008, their last title shot. If they don't lift the trophy this season or at least make it to the final, they can't say it's because of a lack of talent or experience. It will be something intangible.

Being in this place means the franchise has big ambitions to live up to. But it's better than not having them.


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Why is Boston Celtics mispronounced? ›

This is because language historians desired the word to better reflect its Greek and Classical Latin origins. The soft "c" sound is usually reserved for sports teams now, like the Boston Celtics.

Did Reggie Lewis died on the court? ›

At the age of 27, Lewis died while still a member of the Celtics, and his number was posthumously retired by the team.
Reggie Lewis.
Personal information
BornNovember 21, 1965 Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
DiedJuly 27, 1993 (aged 27) Waltham, Massachusetts, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
24 more rows

Which team along with the Boston Celtics has won the most number of NBA championships? ›

As of 2022, the Eastern Conference/Division led the Western Conference/Division 40–36 in championships won. As of 2022, the Boston Celtics and the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers have won a combined total of 34 NBA championships (with 17 apiece). As of 2022, the defending champions are the Golden State Warriors.

Are the Celtics favored to win? ›

The Golden State Warriors are your 2022 NBA champions, but Las Vegas has already moved on to the 2022-23 season.
NBA Finals odds: Vegas sets Warriors, Nets and Celtics as favorites to win 2022-23 championship.
TeamTitle Odds
Boston Celtics+600
Milwaukee Bucks+750
Phoenix Suns+800
Los Angeles Clippers+800
26 more rows
Jun 19, 2022

What were Celtics fans yelling at Green? ›

' BOSTON – American sports fans chanting that an opposing player “sucks” is commonplace, but even that wasn't enough for Boston Celtics fans as they expressed their disdain for outspoken and physical Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green. “F— you, Draymond! … F— you, Draymond!”

Is Celtic a hard or soft C? ›

"In Irish and Scottish and Welch and so forth, the letter 'C' is always “kuh” and Celtic is 'Celtic' [with a hard 'C']," said Harbeck. The same goes for Classical Latin.

Who made the first dunk in NBA history? ›

It's believed that the first-ever dunk in organized basketball occurred in 1936 (before that it was all one-legged push shots and layups). Joe Fortenberry, a 6ft 8in Texan, performed one in the Berlin Olympics for the US basketball team on the way to winning the sport's first-ever gold medal.

What NBA legend died recently? ›

NBA legend Bill Russell, an 11-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics and the first Black head coach in the league, passed away “peacefully” Sunday, according to a family statement from his verified Twitter account. He was 88.

What 27 year old All Star died from undiagnosed heart condition? ›

Qatari striker died Monday

A congenital heart ailment that had gone undetected in numerous physical examinations killed star 27-year-old Ecuador striker Christian Benitez, the national team's physician said Friday.

Who is more likely to win Bucks or Celtics? ›

The Bucks are 8.5-point favorites in the latest Bucks vs. Celtics odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is 225. Before locking in any Celtics vs. Bucks picks, you need to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's advanced computer simulation model.

Who is favored Warriors or Celtics? ›

What are the odds for Warriors vs. Celtics Game 1?
Jun 2, 2022

Who is Boston Celtics biggest rivalry? ›

The Celtics–Lakers rivalry is a National Basketball Association (NBA) rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Celtics and the Lakers are the two most storied franchises in the NBA, and the rivalry has been called the greatest in the NBA.

Who is the most successful basketball team of all time? ›

As of the end of the 2022 NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers have the most post-season games played (761), wins (456), and losses (305), as well as the highest post-season winning percentage with 456–305 (. 599) of any NBA team.

Who is the greatest team in NBA history? ›

If there is a team that deserves the top spot in the NBA's greatest teams of all time, it would be the '95-96 Chicago Bulls. What is this? This team dominated the season and emerged as overall league champions. The team was famously led by Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman.

What is the most successful team in NBA? ›

1. Boston Celtics. With more NBA titles than any other franchise in league history (an amazing 16 of which Red Auerbach was somehow involved with), the Boston Celtics can lay claim to the top spot in these rankings.

What did Celtics fans call Draymond? ›

Green said Thursday that Celtics fans called him the “n-word” during the six-game series in which the Warriors won. “I was rattled,” Green said during an interview with Complex Sports.

Are Celtics fans loyal? ›

According to our ranking system, Boston Celtics fans were the most loyal in the NBA. They're also the fan base donning the highest percentage of team logo tattoos.

What is the Celtics catchphrase? ›

Their motto is 'Ubuntu'

It's written on some of their headbands. And players throw it around casually in interviews with the media. The South African word 'Ubuntu' is defined as unity for the greater good, and the Celtics have made it their motto all season.

Is Celtic a lost language? ›

There are approximately 16 Celtic languages to have ever existed. Of those, only six are still spoken today: Irish, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Breton, Cornish and Welsh.

What is a hard g word? ›

Some hard g words include game, gate, gall, gap, gobble, glow, gray, green, ghost, guess, again, and ago.

What makes you a Celtic? ›

The term Celtic is used to refer to persons who trace their ancestry back to one of the present Celtic territories located in the westernmost parts of Europe. Through the ages, each of these places has managed to preserve a significant portion of its original culture as well as its particular language.

Is Celtic pronounced Seltic or Keltic? ›

People who study the Celtic culture, language, and history usually pronounce it as "Keltik," but sports fans say "Seltik."

Is Celtics pronounced wrong? ›

The pronunciation of the initial c in the English words Celt and Celtic in their various meanings can be realised either as /k/ or /s/ (that is, either hard or soft). Both can be justified philologically and both are “correct” in English prescriptive usage.

Is it pronounced Celtic or Keltic Reddit? ›

It comes from the Latin word "celtae". In Latin, "c" is pronounced as "k", but when importing such words into English, the sound changes to "s", like in "Caesar".

What does the word Celtics mean? ›

(keltɪk , sel- ) adjective [usually ADJECTIVE noun] If you describe something as Celtic, you mean that it is connected with the people and the culture of Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and some other areas such as Brittany.

Are Celts Scottish or Irish? ›

Today, the term 'Celtic' generally refers to the languages and cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, and Brittany; also called the Celtic nations.

Is the Celtic knot pagan? ›

The origins of the Celtic knot are rooted in Paganism. The Pagans believed in and spoke of the infinite and cyclical nature of all living things. Before the Christian influence on the Celts in 450 AD, interwoven designs could be found in Celtic culture.

Why are Celtic Irish? ›

What is Celtic's Irish connection? An Irish identity has been strongly imbued in the fabric of Celtic ever since the club's foundation in 1887. The club was established by an Irishman, Brother Walfrid, whose goal was to help improve the conditions in which the Irish immigrant population in Glasgow lived.

Where did the Celts originate from? ›

Where did the Celts come from? Early sources place Celts in western Europe and also occupying land near the headwaters of the Danube River. Their home territories have often been traced to central and eastern France, extending across southern Germany and into the Czech Republic.

Is the Celtics logo Irish? ›

The logo manages to include all of the iconic depictions of the Irish in America that were standard in the 1950s: a leprechaun covered in shamrock clothing and a bowler hat, smoking a pipe, holding a shillelagh and sporting a mischievous grin!

Is the Celtics logo a leprechaun? ›

Perhaps the most famous logo in professional basketball, Lucky the Leprechaun has been a part of the Celtics in one form or another since 1950. The current Lucky, with his trademark shillelagh and bowler hat, was designed in the early 1950s by Red Auerbach's brother Zang.

How is T pronounced in Irish? ›

T -> TH. The Irish TH is pronounced as the Irish SH, i.e. as a H sound. And it can only be lenited when it is followed by a vowel or one of the consonants N, L, R. It also resists lenition according to the same rules as the D does.

Does anyone speak Celtic? ›

There are approximately 16 Celtic languages to have ever existed. Of those, only six are still spoken today: Irish, Manx, Scottish Gaelic, Breton, Cornish and Welsh.

Where does Celtic speak? ›

Celtic languages, also spelled Keltic, branch of the Indo-European language family, spoken throughout much of Western Europe in Roman and pre-Roman times and currently known chiefly in the British Isles and in the Brittany peninsula of northwestern France.

Who are the Celtics in the Bible? ›

Those people in Paul's New Testament Epistle to the Galations were Celts, from Gaul. These Continental Celts eventually arrived in Macedonia in 279 B.E., where they gathered under a tribal leader named Brennus. They intended to raid the rich temple of Delphi.

What is the Celtic faith? ›

The Celtic religion was closely tied to the natural world and they worshipped gods in sacred places like lakes, rivers, cliffs and bushes. The moon, the sun and the stars were especially important - the Celts thought that there were supernatural forces in every aspect of the natural world.

What did the Celtics call heaven? ›

Continental Celtic mythology

The Gauls divided the universe into three parts: Albios ("heaven, white-world, upper-world"), Bitu ("world of the living beings"), and Dubnos ("hell, lower-world, black-world").


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