Boston Celtics Ready for Redemption in NBA Finals

Boston Celtics Ready for Redemption in NBA Finals
Image Credit: Boston Celtics

Tatum and Brown remained hopeful despite the Boston Celtics losing to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals two years ago. They saw that defeat as an essential aspect of their path, a lesson to drive their future achievements.

Rising Expectations

In the 2022 Finals, the pressure was on the experienced Golden State Warriors, not on the relatively green Celtics. But now, Boston is the favorite against the Dallas Mavericks. According to Bet MGM Sportsbook, the Celtics are heavily favored, adding a level of pressure that Tatum and Brown did not face two years ago.

“I give a lot of credit to that team, the Warriors. I think we understood what it took to get there. They understood what it took to get over the hump,” Tatum said on Wednesday. “That was a special team that didn’t make many mistakes and was obviously well-coached. They’ve just been there before. In some of those tough moments, when I go back and look, you can tell that they had been there before. It was a lesson to be learned.”

Learning from the Past

Boston has learned. In the 2022–23 season and playoffs, the Celtics have an impressive 144–54 record, leading the league. During this time frame, Tatum has scored the most points out of all players. The Celtics have lost fewer games in the last two seasons combined than seven teams have lost in just this season. Brown and Tatum have emerged as one of the best duos in the league, representing the crucial 1-2 combination needed for winning championships.

“They learned something,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd remarked. “You could see they’re playing at a high level right now, winning 64 games, the best team in the NBA. But that tandem, they’re playing at an extremely high level and we got our work cut out.”

Embracing Pressure

Kidd understands the pressure of the Finals. He lost his first two trips to the Finals as a player with the New Jersey Nets against the Lakers and Spurs but triumphed with Dallas in 2011. He recognizes the role of nerves and talent in these high-stakes games.

“We just didn’t have enough talent to beat Kobe and Shaq. It could be that simple,” Kidd said. “But nerves sometimes play a part, too. Just the human side of things.”

Growing Up in the Spotlight

At media day, Houston’s Jabari Smith Jr. asked Tatum how to handle the pressure of unmet expectations. Tatum, who faced similar scrutiny early in his career, responded with empathy and wisdom. “We come into the league at such a young age, and they want us to be perfect right away. It’s just part of growing up,” he said. “Nothing was accomplished overnight. I think you’ll find value in tough times—the ups and downs of just what life brings you.”

A Test of Growth

The Boston Celtics went through challenging times in 2022 and also last year, suffering a Game 7 defeat against Miami in the Eastern Conference NBA Finals at home. How well they do against the Mavericks will show how far they have developed and if they can handle the pressure now.

The journey of Tatum, Brown, and the Celtics continues, and this Finals series will be the ultimate test of their resilience and growth.

Maya Rodriguez
Greetings, fellow basketball aficionados! I'm Maya Rodriguez, a storyteller at heart, weaving tales of the game I love. Specializing in women's basketball, I'm on a mission to shine a spotlight on the incredible narratives often overlooked. Through my articles, I not only break down scores and stats but also share the inspiring journeys of female athletes. Join me in celebrating the resilience, skill, and passion that define women's basketball – because every hoop deserves its heroine.

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