When LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics immediately became the top favorite to fully dominate the Eastern Conference. Last season, the Celtics managed to reach the Eastern Conference finals and force a Game 7 against James and the Cavaliers despite not having Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. With both superstars expected to return 100 percent healthy, the Celtics are expected to become a more dangerous team in the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season.
However, in the four preseason games they played, the Celtics don’t look like the team who is expected to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals 2019. Boston posted a 1-3 record, including back-to-back losses to the reigning Eastern Conference champions Cleveland Cavaliers. After being one of the most talked about teams this summer, Celtics point guard Terry Rozier believes Boston is overconfident and complacent entering the 2018-19 NBA season.
If they are serious about returning to the NBA Finals and winning the NBA championship title, Terry Rozier thinks they need to stay grounded and resume playing Celtics basketball.
“I feel like we need to get our mind right. Take some time off,” Rozier said, via NBA.com. “But at the same time, we gotta get out there and just find our way. I feel like we arrived like we already won something. Teams know that people are talking about us every time you turn on the TV, so that’s going to motivate them to want to beat us no matter if it’s the second string, third string, no matter who it is. We’ve got to stay grounded and go back to playing Boston Celtics basketball and being who we are instead of thinking we’re above everybody.”
Terry Rozier Sr.: “I’ve been admiring the young man my son has become. . . . He’s a better man than I was.” https://t.co/dcNnhVDuFX— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) October 8, 2018
Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens shared the same sentiment as Terry Rozier, saying that the team is not playing with spirit, passion, and togetherness like they did last season. Stevens said that they need to address all the issues on their team before the 2018-19 NBA season officially starts. As of now, Stevens still needs to figure out how he can insert Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to their starting lineup without affecting the effectiveness of their young players like Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum.
The Celtics may currently have the most talented roster in the Eastern Conference, but that doesn’t mean that their road to the NBA Finals will be easy. Teams like the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers are also eyeing to become the new ruler of the Eastern Conference, and they will surely do everything to prevent the Celtics from sitting on the empty throne. If they keep the same mindset, it will not be a surprise if the Celtics end up suffering a disappointing season.