Stephen A. Smith thinks that the Boston Celtics could win the 2022-23 NBA championship

First Take co-host Stephen A. Smith thinks that the reigning Eastern Conference side, Boston Celtics could win the 2022-23 NBA season.

The Boston Celtics in a file photo (Image credits: twitter)
By Godwin Matthew | Dec 9, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The Boston Celtics have started their 2022-23 campaign in style. They are currently 21-5 and have played some impressive basketball. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been explosive and their exploits have helped the reigning Eastern Conference champions to have the best record in the league.

Many analysts had reservations about the Boston Celtics at the start of the season as there was a lot of controversy surrounding the franchise with all that had happened with Ime Udoka. However, 34-year-old Joe Mazzulla has been a brilliant replacement and is forcing the media to change their opinions about his young side. Stephen A. Smith has often emphasised that he trusts the Golden State Warriors to win it all. But he came out in the open and stated that the Boston Celtics were one team that could force him to jump off that bandwagon. Speaking about the seventeen-time champions on ESPN’s “First Take,” he said:

“I started off the season confessing to basketball royalty here that I was thinking Golden State and Brooklyn, I haven’t jumped off that Golden State bandwagon, call me crazy coach, but I am of the mindset that Wiseman who was in the G-League, I am thinking about a 7 footer who can play and that Steve Kerr is a genius and he’ll figure it out. But I’m looking at Steph, I’m saying if Klay gives you what Klay can give you when it counts, he’s a different animal, especially with Jordan Poole coming off the bench even though some people think he should start, etc, etc, I am not jumping off that bandwagon, but something that can get me to jump off that bandwagon, its these Boston Celtics.”

The Boston Celtics have the number-one-ranked offense in the league. Although their defense is ranked number ninth, it could see a lot of improvement when Robert Williams III makes his return from injury. The grit and determination, they are playing with are unmatched. Just months after the heartbreaking loss in the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics are at it again and will try breaking the shackles to win the Larry O’Brien trophy for the eighteenth time in franchise history.

What makes the Boston Celtics the favourites to win it all?

The Boston Celtics are a well-constructed side with hoopers on both ends of the floor. They have one of the best group of starters, but their bench also has some elite players, who can contribute on both ends of the floor. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are certainly their key players. Both these youngsters are stellar on the offensive end, but their effort to make plays on the defensive end is what has helped the Boston Celtics become a tough side to beat.

In the team’s blowout win against the Phoenix Suns on December 7, Tatum defended Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Mikal Bridges for 34 combined possessions [Stat credit: Hoops Empire]. He only conceded 2 points against the three combined, thereby helping the Celtics grab a 27-point win. The duo have also been screening and doing all the dirty work for the team and this is what has inspired the Celtics to a sensational start.

There is a lot of basketball left to be played and teams will only get better as the season progresses. The Celtics will be happy with their record, but they certainly can’t settle and will have to continue playing this brand of basketball if they are to win it all.

Read More: Steve Kerr heaps praise on Golden State Warriors sophomore sensation Jonathan Kuminga