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Chasing Banner 18: An NBA Finals Preview

Chasing Banner 18: An NBA Finals Preview
Celtics Blog

After cruising through the playoffs, the Boston Celtics are currently leading the series  2 games to 0 against the Dallas Mavericks in a heated NBA finals. The next game is scheduled for Wednesday June 12th. With a trip to the finals, the Celtics have a chance to make history by becoming the team with the most NBA championships. 


How We Got Here

The Celtics have put together an amazing season, becoming the best team in the league with a 64-18 record. They achieved the best record in the league by making some key changes in the off season. The first move they made was picking up Kristaps Porzingis. Boston acquired Porzingis as a part of a three way trade with the Memphis Grizzlies and The Washington Wizards. In this trade, Boston had to give up Marcus Smart which left them without a starting point guard.


Elsewhere in the league, a blockbuster trade happened between The Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trailblazers, and Phoenix Suns where 8 time all star Damian Lillard went to Milwaukee. In order to make this happen Milwaukee had to trade Jrue Holiday to a rebuilding Trailblazers team. 


With Portland having no real interest in keeping Holiday, Boston put together a trade where Boston acquired Holiday for former sixth man of the year Malcom Brogdon. With these changes, along with Derrick White improving greatly, the Celtics created a force to be reckoned with.


Why is This Matchup Important?

The history between Boston and Dallas makes this finals an interesting one to watch. On paper there isn’t necessarily anything to look at with Boston being undefeated against Dallas for about 2 years to this day. The real story comes with the players that are involved rather than the teams. Players from both the Celtics and the Mavericks have played for the other team previously in their careers. Porzingis played for the Mavericks before he was on the Wizards and he is looking to get revenge on the team that just traded him away. 


However, the main focus going into the finals is Kyrie Irving. Irving used to play for Boston from 2017 up until 2019 where he left to sign with the Brooklyn Nets. The main issue doesn’t come from his time spent playing in Boston; it more has to do with how he left the team. In October of 2018 Kyrie announced, in front of a packed TD Garden, that he would be re-signing with Boston going into the next season.


Photosource: Barstool Sports


This came as a pleasant surprise to Celtics fans as the general notion before the announcement was that he was unsure about re-signing. The problem with this is that Kyrie did not re-sign in the following season. He instead decided to sign with Brooklyn to play with former MVP Kevin Durant. This sparked a massive hatred for Kyrie for most Celtics fans that still goes strong to this day.


The Importance of Banner 18

Photosource: The Boston Globe



If they win banner 18, the Celtics will become the franchise with the most finals wins in NBA history. A Celtics win would also end their 16 year long drought from being NBA champions.


For the players that make up the Celtics team, the ring would also mean a lot. None of the players on the current Celtics roster have won a championship yet so a finals win would bring them all what so many players dream about.


This series is a very interesting one that leans in favor of Boston. There are a lot of different stories that have all ended up crossing paths to this very moment. The series should be a good one and hopefully the Celtics end up with their record breaking banner number 18.


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