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
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No. 2) The Celtics will guard Kyrie Irving better than any team has this postseason

Many analysts have predicted Kyrie Irving to step up as the X Factor in these NBA Finals. In fact, two ESPN analysts even picked Irving to win Finals MVP over his superstar running mate Luka Doncic.

However, the Celtics possess the perfect personnel to guard Irving. In his last 8 games against the Celtics dating back to the 2022 playoffs, Irving has averaged just 18.8 points and 4.4 assists on 39.6% shooting from the field and an abysmal 22.9% clip from three.

With Holiday, White, and Brown the likeliest trio of defensive assignments for Irving throughout the series, the former Celtic will have his hands full. Boston’s guards have done an exceptional job of playing physical defense without fouling all year long (the Celtics committed the second-fewest fouls this season).

Irving’s controversial history with the Celtics has made him a villain in the eyes of many Boston fans, but the eight-time All Star recently spoke with great maturity about his well-documented past in Beantown. 

"I put it in a very simple perspective now. I would not be here without Boston, literally and figuratively just because without me going through what I went through here, I would not be who I am today. Without my mom and dad meeting at Boston University, I literally wouldn’t be here. I'm grateful that I have history here … I’m grateful for what I got to experience here."

Kyrie Irving

Irving has averaged 22.8 points and 5.2 assists this postseason, serving as a highly efficient No. 2 option next to Doncic. Despite Irving’s impressive play, Celtics fans should feel as confident in their team as any to thwart the greatness of Irving – at least to some extent.

Considering Irving’s championship pedigree, the Celtics will take that matchup as seriously as any. Look for one of the most physical perimeter defenses Irving has ever faced to make its mark in these finals.