Boston Celtics

Why Kendrick Perkins now views Celtics as ‘best team in the NBA'

"This team should be favored to win it all.”

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The Boston Celtics have made a believer out of Kendrick Perkins.

The ex-Celtics center, who was a starter on their 2007-08 NBA title team, is fully on board the hype train after Boston completed its West Coast road trip with a 3-1 record, including impressive back-to-back wins over the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers.

“The Celtics proved to me and the rest of the world that they’re the best team in the NBA,” Perkins said Tuesday on ESPN's Pat McAfee Show. “And I’m not just basing this off what they did (on Monday) to the Lakers. I’m talking about the clean sweep that they had in L.A. They beat the brakes off the Clippers and then to come in and do what they did (against the Lakers).

“Look, when I look at that starting five with Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Derrick White, Jrue Holiday and (Kristaps) Porzingis — that is so electrifying. And I know all the people, the naysayers, are saying they shoot too many 3s. I was one of them. But I’m a believer in their 3-point shooting, and I’m a believer in their perimeter defense. This team should be favored to win it all.”

After suffering a tough overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors at the start of the trip, the Celtics offense kicked into high gear and averaged 138 points over the remaining three matchups.

The Celtics own the league's best record at 23-6. They remain undefeated on homecourt with a 14-0 at TD Garden. They are one of just two teams -- along with the Philadelphia 76ers -- that ranks top five in both offensive and defensive rating.

The Celtics are able to win games in so many different ways. They have the athleticism to win a run-and-gun, high-pace game. They can outshoot most teams (No. 1 in the NBA in 3-pointers made). They can win a tough, physical game. The addition of veteran center Kristaps Porzingis has given the Celtics a reliable low-post scorer for the first time in a while.

This roster could use a little more depth, especially in the frontcourt given Porzingis' injury history and Horford's age, but the primary obstacles for this team on the road to a championship are themselves (self-inflicted mistakes) and injuries.

If this Celtics team is fully healthy going into the playoffs, they should absolutely be favored to bring home Banner 18 in June.

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