The Celtics continue to go from strength to strength this season but the odds of them dethroning Golden State continue to plummet. Boston has the league’s best defense under Brad Stevens. And the team has shrugged off an injury to Gordon Hayward to top power rankings charts across the board. The Celts have already beaten the Warriors and have the best record in the league, with Kyrie Irving putting forward a strong case to be named regular season MVP. Some claim that he Celtics could surpass the Red Sox and the Patriots in the popularity stakes. Whether or not you buy into that, it is certainly a great time to be a sports fan in Boston.
Green vs. Gold
But can Boston really beat Golden State when it counts? The sport books remain unconvinced. Betonline will have odds for the Celtics, review them. Favorites going into almost every game at present. But in future odds, Golden State is a -162 favorite to win a second consecutive NBA Championship. Boston is out at +1000. Odds makers don’t even favor the Green to win the East. The Cavs sit at -191 to win the conference and Stevens’ men +300. But underdog status will suit them. No pressure, and they can focus on creating an upset.
Fans have many positives to be taken from the Celtics’ win over Golden State on November 17. They restricted the reigning champs to just 88 points, their lowest score since Kevin Durant joined. The Celts made a real statement in the win. The rest of the league has takien notice. Semi Ojeleye marked Steph Curry out of the game. Marcus Smart was all over Andre Iguodola. And the Celtics executed Stevens’ plan perfectly. They won with hustle, heart and determination, a rock solid defense that can thwart any team in the league, and second-half momentum that often proves unstoppable.
Who Will be the Beast of the East?
The Celtics look to be heading for a collision with Cleveland in the east. Right now, they have the better end of that monster summer trade with the Cavs that resulted in Kyrie Irving head to Boston and Isaiah Thomas go in the opposite direction. Irving has been a blur with the ball in his hands and has scored at least 20 points on 50 percent shooting in five straight games. He is now third favorite to be named regular season MVP, behind only James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Meanwhile Thomas is still injured, but when he returns to action, the Cavs will be a formidable opponent. Thomas will have a point to prove if the Celtics meet the Cavs in the playoffs. LeBron James is a one-man wrecking ball, but after shutting out the dream team at Golden State so well, Boston need fear no one.
Al Horford looks nailed on for All Star status alongside Irving, while Jaylen Brown has come on leaps and bounds, building an outside case for All Star inclusion. Smart looks impressive when not shooting, and Jayson Tatum shines like a superstar of the future. Aaron Baynes, Marcus Morris, Ojeleye and Daniel Theis continue to play very well. Stevens has proved as good a coach as any in the business. Celts fans have a great deal to be positive about going into the festive period. If they keep it up, the odds on them will continue to plummet and Golden State’s period of domination could prove short-lived.