4 bold NBA Finals predictions for the Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers - Game Four
Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers - Game Four / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
1 of 4

The Boston Celtics will face the Dallas Mavericks in a blockbuster NBA Finals matchup for a chance at basketball glory. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown spearheaded a sweep of the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, dominating the series to book their berth in the championship round for the second time in three years.

Brown won ECF MVP, averaging 29.8 points on 51.7% shooting from the field and 37.0% shooting from three. He played with more consistency than anyone throughout the conference finals, and his game-saving three in Game 1 highlighted one of the clutchest series of his career. JB also delivered the game-winning assist in Game 4 to shut the door on Indy, as well as a 40-piece in a Game 2 blowout. 

Tatum put together quite a series himself with averages of 30.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists on 46.3% shooting. Tatum became just the sixth player in NBA history to lead his team in points, rebounds, and assists on the way to an NBA Finals appearance. 

As Boston’s offensive engine over the years, Tatum has accumulated one of the best-ever resumes through a player’s first seven NBA seasons. JT has the most-ever playoff points through seven seasons, and he is on Kobe Bryant’s heels with the second-most points in NBA history before turning 27. Tatum is also the fifth player ever to average at least 25 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists en route to a finals appearance.

The Celtics’ elite supporting cast has also done wonders for the 17-time champions. Their 64-18 regular-season record and 12-2 playoff record both have a lot to do with the help the Jays have had all year long. Jrue Holiday and Derrick White have continued to showcase their two-way brilliance throughout the postseason, and Al Horford has stepped up in the absence of Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis’ long-awaited return should give the C’s an extra boost in their final Banner 18 hurdle.

As fans prepare for a phenomenal series packed with riveting storylines, they should expect the unexpected.

Here are 4 bold NBA Finals predictions for the Boston Celtics

No. 1) Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will combine for 60+ points per game

Tatum and Brown combined for 60.1 points per game in the conference finals, the most the duo has ever combined for in a playoff series. Look for the Jays to continue their red-hot scoring form in the finals.

While the Mavs boast a much better team defense than the Pacers, their primary wing defenders should face an uphill battle against the Jays. Derrick Jones Jr. and PJ Washington have done a great job in these playoffs, but guarding the Tatum/Brown pairing will present their toughest task yet. In the last Celtics-Mavericks matchup on March 1, Tatum and Brown combined for 57 points on 21-of-39 shooting (7-of-14 from three).

Tatum and Brown have both hit their stride in these playoffs. If Tatum can rediscover his 3-point shot, he could average 30-35 points in this series. Either way, both of Boston’s superstars should find a lot of success in the paint, especially with Porzingis back in the mix. 

KP’s availability will allow the C’s to run five-out offense for 48 minutes every night, meaning Dallas’ primary rim protectors will need to worry about the 3-point shot of either Porzingis or Horford at all times. More space to drive to the basket can only help Tatum and Brown get the looks they want in this series, and their elite physicality and post-play should present problems for Dallas’ personnel.

Tatum has made a habit of setting slip screens and drawing mismatches in the post against smaller guards. Don’t be surprised if Tatum hunts post-ups against players like Kyrie Irving and Jaden Hardy during these NBA Finals.

The bottom line? Watch out for a scoring bonanza from Tatum and Brown in this series.