John Minchillo/AP Photo

The Celtics prove to be legitimate title contenders by making quick work of the Nets

I heard some Celtics in seven, Celtics in six, a few Celtics in fives.  But not even the most delusional green teamers had Boston sweeping Kyrie and KD with relative ease.  This series was not supposed to end this quickly.

But it did, because the Celtics are that much better than the Nets, a team led by two of the most talented players in NBA history.  The Celtics, ladies and gentlemen, are officially legitimate championship contenders.  If they’re not the favorites to win it all at this point then they’re not off by much.

The Milwaukee Bucks are a formidable opponent and will present another challenge entirely with Giannis Antetokounmpo, but this C’s team is ready for anything.  Following their dominant performance over Brooklyn, Boston is now 32-7 in their last 39 games after starting the season 23-24.  Jayson Tatum has entered the conversation as the best young player in basketball, and it’s hard to argue that he didn’t just pass Kevin Durant in the NBA’s hierarchy.  Marcus Smart has been stamped as the best defender in the league, Grant Williams has become elite in that same category, Jaylen Brown is an All-Star and continues to improve, and this whole team has bought into Ime Udoka’s coaching.

The Celtics are in a rare situation where the talent level of their opponents could actually decline after the second round.  Fans wanted them to tank games at the end of the regular season to manipulate their seeding and avoid playing a powerhouse team in the first round.  Their mentality is that if they want to win a championship, they’re going to have to beat the best eventually.  So that’s what they’re doing.

“It’s funny to us, because we don’t duck and dodge anybody,” Marcus Smart said. “We knew what we were going to come in here and do.”

 

 

 

 

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