NBA Finals 2020 – Can the Celtics Win the Title This Year?
The Boston Celtics aren’t the first team you think of when trying to predict who will win the 2020 NBA Finals.
It’s mostly the two LA-based teams and the Milwaukee Bucks. Fair, but the Celtics are among the next tier of title contenders that, well, probably shouldn’t be ignored.
Will the Celtics win it all once the NBA restarts their league on July 31st? Probably not, but they do have a case for bettors looking for a little upside at the top basketball betting websites.
If you’re thinking of betting on the Celtics to win, here’s some good reasoning to support the wager.
Boston Plays Tough Defense
The main calling card for the Celtics has always been their defense. That was the case back when they won a title with Kevin Garnett, and it remains that way now.
The numbers don’t dispute that, as Boston is still very stingy defensively, currently ranking fourth in defensive efficiency. Marcus Smart continues to be the guy that sets the tone on that end of the floor, while Boston ranks 6th in blocks, 7th in steals, and 3rd in three-point percentage allowed.
Boston is as balanced and versatile as anyone at the defensive end. That defensive toughness will again be a reason why bettors can’t easily dismiss them as Finals threats.
Kemba Walker Gives Them a Leader
Walker was constantly held back in Charlotte, but people tend to blame him for a consistently weak Hornets team not going anywhere. In reality, it’s because of this guy that the Hornets were ever remotely relevant in the first place.
Once Kyrie Irving left town, it appeared that the Celtics would regress. Instead, the franchise paid to lure Walker away from the Hornets, and they haven’t skipped a beat.
Prior to the season’s pause, Boston owned the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. Walker’s leadership and consistent play could be referenced as huge reasons why.
Jayson Tatum Is Morphing Into a Superstar
The arrival of Kemba Walker was at worst a lateral move away from Kyrie Irving, but Boston really begins gaining an edge when you realize how far Jayson Tatum has come.
Tatum has put Boston on his back in the scoring department at times this year and currently averages 23.6 points per game on the season.
Just 22, this bright young star is only ascending, and it’s quite possible he could save his best ball of the season for playoff time.
Boston Is Ridiculously Balanced
Signing Walker and watching Tatum blossom guarantees nobody can say that Boston “doesn’t have star power.” It’s quite official that they do.
But beyond that star power, the Celtics are still incredibly balanced.
Gordon Hayward is a versatile point-forward who can create offense for himself and others, Smart is an elite defender who can knock down open shots, and Jaylen Brown is averaging the quietest 20.4 points per game known to man.
The Celtics aren’t a team led by one megastar. They don’t have two guys that can burn you. They can kill you from numerous angles throughout their starting five.
The Celtics Are Battle Tested
One more thing about Boston — they know how to compete with the best teams in the NBA. They’re just 7-6 in their division this year, but the Atlantic Division includes the defending champion Raptors, as well as the Philadelphia 76ers.
Those teams are both title contenders, as well. Overall, Boston has dominated a weak Eastern Conference (27-10) and went 1-1 against the Bucks, 1-1 against the Lakers, 1-1 against the Clippers, 2-1 against the Raptors, and 2-0 against the Heat.
The only team that got the better of Boston this year was the Sixers (3-1). Boston has at least split the season series with the other title threats in the NBA, while showcasing how battle-tested they really are.
The Celtics have just about everything one needs to contend for a title. They have the coaching, the star power, the balance, the defense, and even the experience.
Boston took a step back in their playoff journey last year, but before that, they had reached the Eastern Conference Finals in two consecutive seasons. In 2018, they even took the Cavs to a game seven.
Trending back upward, Boston could be floating under the radar just enough to offer elite betting value at their current +1200 NBA Finals odds at BetOnline.
The Celtics aren’t the only team to consider when looking to bet on the 2020 NBA Finals, though. These other teams all have strong cases, as well.