Celtics Fans Shouldn't Settle For Anything Less Than a Title

The Boston Celtics are the favorites to win it all after a dominant regular-season. Can they finally do it?
Apr 7, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) reacts to the
Apr 7, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) reacts to the / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Celtics fans, buckle up, because there are about to be quite a few uncomfortable truths.

First, the good stuff. The 2023-24 Boston Celtics are one of the best regular season teams in the history of the NBA. Boston finished atop the Eastern Conference by 14 games, the largest gap between first and second since 1976. The Celtics scored 1.22 points per possession. This 122.2 offensive rating is the best mark in NBA history. Boston was the first team to win three games by 50 or more points in a single season and outscored opponents by an average of 11.34 points per game, which ranks fifth in league history. By the way, the four teams who performed better than the Celtics in that category all won the title.

Celtics' play-by-play radio commentator Sean Grande laid out the eye-popping impressiveness of Boston's regular season.

So, what's the problem? Well, they haven't won the title yet. And unless they do, fans should see this season as a failure.

Good teams put together historic regular seasons, great teams win championships. Which one will the Celtics be?

This core had their shot at Golden State in 2022, went up 2-1 in the series, then lost three straight games (two of which were at home). Last season, they completely no-showed against the eighth-seeded Miami Heat in a home Game 7, losing by 19 on their home floor. Yes, they showed some grit clawing back from a 3-0 series deficit. Yes, star Jayson Tatum wasn't 100% in either matchup as he battled through injuries. Yes, I understand that this year's edition of the Celtics has upgraded some key pieces and are a more talented top-to-bottom roster than those teams.

Also, in the NBA, superstars move far more than any other sport. As a Celtics fan, it is easy to feel like the championship window is in its early stages, but all it takes is a discontented player (let's hypothetically use Jaylen Brown for the purpose of this exercise) to request a trade and the entire thing gets blown up. Just ask Oklahoma City Thunder fans how they felt when they had the promising young trio of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden.

We've seen super teams assembled and disassembled without hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy. 2023-24 Celtics, show us that you're different. Show us that this core can win a championship together.

Heck, the Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen underachieved. In a league where good teams (see the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and Golden State Warriors) win multiple championships, that trio only secured a single title and made just two appearances in the Finals. So will this core's legacy be different?

Celtics fans also won't want to hear it, but the C's have one title in the last 37 years. Your supposed rival, the Lakers, have eight titles in that span. Including Los Angeles, seven franchises have more titles in that span. Shouldn't fans expect more out of a team perennially regarded as one of the premier organizations in the sport?

Boston's road to the title starts on Sunday. The Celtics have struggled at home in the last two playoffs, middling at 11-12, including 1-3 on the parquet in last year's Eastern Conference Finals. Boston started the season 20-0 at the Garden and finished 37-4. Flipping the script and getting a Game 1 win at home will go a long way towards chasing basketball's ultimate prize.

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