NBA personnel are optimistic on Celtics' title chances after great offseason


The Boston Celtics are the betting favorites at many sportsbooks to win the 2023 NBA Finals, and it appears that plenty of people around the league are also pretty bullish on the C's title chances next season.

ESPN's Tim Bontemps conducted a survey of 15 coaches, scouts and execs for a story published Tuesday. The Celtics received four votes to win the 2023 championship, tied with the Milwaukee Bucks. The Los Angeles Clippers had the most with five votes.ย 

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The Celtics and Bucks each received seven votes to be Eastern Conference champs. The Miami Heat received one vote.

Why so much optimism in the Celtics?

It might be because they nearly won the NBA Finals last season and have the league's best young duo in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Another question posed to the 15 coaches, scouts and execs in ESPN's poll was which team had the best offseason. The Celtics easily won with six votes, ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz with two votes apiece.

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The Celtics did a nice job trading for veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon without giving up anything of significant value, while also adding free agent forward Danilo Gallinari. Gallinari recently suffered a knee injury playing for Italy in a FIBA World Cup qualifier, but he reportedly is expected to return to game action in November.

There are lots of reasons to think the Celtics can finish the job next season and win banner No. 18. They have star power, depth, experience and a great coaching staff.

But they also will be the hunted, and not the hunter, in 2022-23. The Celtics will be getting opponents' best shot on a nightly basis, and it's up to head coach Ime Udoka to prepare his players for that challenge.

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