There is no shortage of optimism surrounding the Boston Celtics entering the 2023-24 NBA season.
The additions of big man Kristaps Porzingis and veteran guard Jrue Holiday were enough to make Boston the odds-on favorite to win the 2024 NBA championship, per Fanatics Sportsbook. Our Chris Forsberg declared the Celtics' top-six the best in the NBA, and Brian Scalabrine took it a step further by stating the C's have "by far" the best roster in the league.
Add Eddie House to the list of Celtics analysts who are even higher on the perennial title contenders heading into the new campaign.
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"You look at the top six players that they have. For the most part in the playoffs, you're only going seven, eight, possibly nine deep,' House said on Wednesday's Early Edition. "You look at the top six that we have, I think that we're, if not the best top six, we are right there. And then you have a couple other teams that you could possibly argue with.
"But right now, I'm feeling so good about what the Celtics have done. Jrue Holiday is a guy. Our perimeter defense is gonna be impeccable."
That high praise comes despite the Celtics saying goodbye to former Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, big man Robert Williams, and reigning Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon. While those losses may sting, House believes Boston's offseason additions outweigh their losses.
"Brogdon last year, as well as he played (in the regular season), in the playoffs when it came down to it he couldn't keep nobody in front of him and he was hurt so we could kind of move him to the side," House said. "Then on the flip side of it, Rob Williams for Porzingis. You give up a little defense, you gain a whole lot of offense. And I don't think you give up a lot of defense because as we've seen, Time Lord kind of was not as healthy as he had been when we had seen him before he had got hurt before those Finals.
"And then, Marcus Smart was probably the hardest pill to swallow because he was the heart and soul of this team. He was definitely the leader, emotional leader, in that locker room. So that was a tough one to swallow. But you get Jrue Holiday, who I think is a better point guard and a better fit for this team. And that's no shot, no slight to what Marcus did because I thought Marcus was phenomenal for the Celtics the whole time he was here."
Time will tell whether House's evaluation of the new-look C's is correct. But as of now, it's hard not to be giddy about how the group is assembled ahead of its quest for Banner 18.
Boston opens its preseason this Sunday against the Philadelphia 76ers. Porzingis and Holiday are expected to make their official Celtics debuts when the regular season begins Oct. 25 vs. the New York Knicks.
You can watch Holiday's full introductory press conference below: