The 2018-19 season concluded last night when the Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in game six of what was a drama-packed season. Could next year be the year the Boston Celtics put all of their chips on the table?
What a wild ride. Even though the Boston Celtics sat and watched the conclusion of the NBA season from the sidelines, the NBA Finals were thrilling and fulfilling.
The Toronto Raptors are champions of the NBA world. Kawhi Leonard got redemption from two years ago when then-Golden State Warrior Zaza Pachulia crowded his landing space and injured his leg.
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Kawhi’s Spurs were promptly eliminated in four games and Leonard’s San Antonio tenure came to an inglorious end. Now, Leonard is the Warriors killer.
That part of the Finals was happy. The part where Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson suffered major injuries was anything but.
Durant (torn Achilles) and Thompson (torn ACL) were two of the best free agents on the market this year. With both of them gone for most of, if not the entire next year, the league is going to see an unprecedented power balance shift.
The Golden State Warriors appear to be done as a dynasty. Steph Curry and Draymond Green are the only sure things returning next year, and after a tumultuous season and ending, it isn’t a stretch to think the Warriors won’t move on from Green and his antics before ponying up for a max contract extension.
That means the NBA is as open as it has been since the Miami Heat dynasty suffered a similar fate at the hands of…Kawhi Leonard. The 2014-15 season saw new contenders pop up in Cleveland, Chaicago (who saw Derrick Rose finally return and Pau Gasol join the cause), Golden State and Houston.
This offseason, there could be new blood in the picture. The Boston Celtics should be that blood.
There’s many different ways that can happen. Boston could go all-in on Anthony Davis and attempt to pair him with another star (this may be the year to say screw it). Perhaps they add a veteran in Mike Conley to Al Horford and a blossoming core. Hell, maybe the Celtics go all-in on their youth and add other youthful pieces to try and run other Eastern Conference contenders out of the gym.
All we know is that this is a new climate. The Warriors are no longer inevitable. Everyone has a chance.
Memo to the Boston Celtics: don’t waste this opportunity. Contenders can be built in a year as Toronto just showed. If you can get a disgruntled star and build around him, you can win. A title is better than draft picks.
In Danny Ainge we trust. This is a whole new world and it sure is a fantastic point of view from where I’m sitting.