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Boston Holds Edge in East Finals, NBA Championship Series


PhilBoxing.com




As the remaining familiar ballclub, in fact the lone constant fixture at this stage of the competition over the last three seasons now, the Boston Celtics should hold the advantage in the forthcoming Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers.

And I dare say, even in the NBA Finals when they get there against either Minnesota Timberwolves or the Dallas Mavericks.

The Celtics have been to one losing NBA Finals in six games against the Golden State Warriors in 2021-22 and one losing Eastern Conference Finals last season versus the Miami Heat where they were upended in seven games.

And now they are in the ECF once more, just one step away from another NBA Finals stint.

This should be their season, I believe.

Consider:

Boston is the first in the whole league to qualify for a playoff berth, clinching it as early as last March.

The Celtics finished with a record of 64 wins and 18 losses, 14 games ahead of second running New York Knicks and 17 games ahead of Indiana Pacers.

With the league's best record, the Celtics are the top seed in the East and hold the homecourt advantage for the whole playoffs up to the NBA Finals.

Boston was also the first to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, winning its first round series 4-1 versus Miami and the semifinals series also by 4-1 over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Celtics have arguably the best starting lineup and back-up unit in all of NBA. Their starters consist of Kristaps Porzhingis at center, Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown at forward and Jrue Holiday and Derreck White at guard. Coming off the bench are Al Horford, Payton Pritchard, Sam Hauser and Luke Kornet, among others.

This season, Tatum is averaging nearly 27 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists per game while Brown is 23 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists per game. Some stats, eh?

Their Conference Finals opponent Indiana Pacers struggled against an injury plagued and relatively shorter New York Knicks, needing to win the last two of their best of seven series to advance.

The Pacers can match up size and perhaps skills-wise against the Celtics but only utility big man Pascal Siakam has extensive playoff experience having been with the 2019 NBA champions Toronto Raptors

The hard fought series versus New York though could have fortified the other Pacers including regular center Myles Turner, forward Andrew Nembhard and guards Tyrese Halliburton and Aaron Nesmith as well as reserves TJ McConnell and Obi Toppin.

What's going for the Pacers is that they are reputedly the highest scoring at the same time the stingiest team in the league.

The consistency and playoff experience of the Celtics will be decisive though Siakam and company can make for an exciting ECF series.

Boston in six games, 4-2

We will discuss the chances of their NBA Finals rival later.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at teddyreynoso@yahoo.com and by phone 09215309477.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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