Derrick White

The Celtics are under the most pressure going into the Playoffs

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Featuring the most stacked team in the entire NBA, it only makes sense that oddsmakers and fans alike seem to love the Boston Celtics Playoff chances in 2024. Then again, we’ve seen multiple teams that were supposed to dominate fall short of their goal in the playoffs, including other versions of the Celtics.

Joe Mazzulla’s team has had the best record in the league almost since the start of the campaign, and they’ve already secured homecourt advantage all the way to the NBA Finals. That’s why they’re currently hard-pressured to reach that stage.

Truth be told, they could be considered the NBA team currently under the most pressure to get the job done.

It’s now or never in Boston

The Boston Celtics have the roster and depth to put together one of the best NBA Playoff runs of all-time. And even though their two stars are still quite young, their title window might shut down right before their eyes, as the rest of the Eastern Conference should only get better in the next couple of years.

The Philadelphia 76ers have enough cap space and draft capital to land another star in the offseason, and so do the New York Knicks. The Orlando Magic are up-and-coming and ready to make a run at top-notch free agents, and the Milwaukee Bucks should be better with another year of Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo together. They’ll never have an easier path to the NBA Finals than they do now.


They have to pay up

The Boston Celtics Playoff chances in 2024 were the highest among all playoff teams since the start of the season, and no wonder why. They have a plethora of talent at every position, and the new CBA has made it almost impossible to sustain that over time.

Jaylen Brown is the highest-paid player in NBA history, and Jayson Tatum is about to break that record with his impending contract extension. Derrick White is also eligible for an extension, and Jrue Holiday has just received a multi-year extension.

The Celtics already have Kristaps Porzingis locked in for three years, and he’ll also take a big chunk of the salary cap. So, how will Brad Stevens manage to work around the salary cap to keep adding talent alongside Tatum and Brown? At some point, they’ll just have to part ways with some players.

Will they get it done?

Most of the Boston Celtics’ potential opponents have struggled against them this season, but the playoffs are a whole different animal. For starters, Joe Mazzulla has let big leads slip right through his fingers multiple times, and while he’s also made some solid adjustments in the playoffs, he’s also allowed his team to bury itself into some big holes.

Both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have left plenty to be desired when the lights are brightest. That’s always been the narrative against them, and they need to get the monkey off their backs by finally proving the doubters wrong on the biggest stage.


Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday should be the X-Factor, and they have more than enough talent on both ends of the floor to get over the hump once and for all, and win their first NBA Championship since 2008.  The Celtics have won two rings since 1986, and patience has finally ran out.

This team should have no trouble getting back to the ultimate stage, as they’re the clear-cut best team in the Eastern Conference. Then again, whether they could get past, say, the Denver Nuggets is a whole different story.

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