As the 2022-23 NBA season comes to a close, the Boston Celtics find themselves in a great position: clinching a spot in the playoffs. With a current record of 57-25, the Celtics are currently seeded second in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics haven’t had many challenges this season besides Danilo Gallinari who suffered a torn MCL over the summer in Italy. Even with this hit on their depth, the Celtics have managed to compete in a crowded Eastern Conference, being able to beat every team in the NBA at least once this season.
One of the biggest reasons for the Celtics’ success and high playoff hopes is the play of their All-Stars Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Both players have been playing at an excellent level with Brown averaging 26.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, while Tatum is averaging 30.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. With these two leading the way, the Celtics have a chance to make a deep playoff run.
Bolstering their chances at playoff success is the play of their supporting cast. Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and Robert Williams III have all stepped up, providing much-needed scoring and defense. We can’t forget Derrick White and Sam Hauser, who have shown reliability and could be key contributors in the playoffs.
However, the Celtics still face several challenges if they hope to make it to the promise land. One of them being the reliability of Tatum and Brown. As seen in the 2022 NBA Finals, they are still young and can sometimes show inexperience in high pressure moments like the finals. If they manage to carry their great play from the regular season or play at an even greater level in the postseason, they will be a threat to any team standing in their way.
The last challenge I see the Celtics facing is their lack of depth at the center position. While Robert Williams III has been solid as the team’s starting center, the team lacks a true backup center, which can prove to be a big problem as rotations get tighter. Additionally, the team has struggled with turnovers and decision making in past playoffs, which could be costly in a playoff series where every possession counts.
The Celtics’ playoff hopes in the 2023 playoffs are not guaranteed, but they have a great chance of making some noise if they can stay healthy and play up to their potential. With Brown and Tatum leading the way, and a solid supporting cast, the Celtics have the talent and experience to compete with any team in the Eastern Conference. However, they will need to strengthen their defense even further, find a way to cover for their lack of depth at the center position, and limit turnovers if they hope to make a deep playoff run. It will be interesting to see how the team performs in the playoffs, and whether they can finally bring another championship to Boston.