Boston Celtics' 18th title stamps an all-time great season

The Boston Celtics are stamped as one of the best teams ever
The Boston Celtics are stamped as one of the best teams ever / Anadolu/GettyImages

As the 2023-24 NBA season started to progress, it became clear that the Boston Celtics were approaching historic territory.

After winning 64 games and securing a playoff spot 17 days before anyone else, the Cs were trying to enter the conversation of the greatest teams ever. 

On June 17, 2024, the Celtics did just that, defeating the Dallas Mavericks 106-88 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, capping off a 16-3 postseason. With the victory, the Cs stamped themselves as the third-best team of the last 25 years and one of the 20 best single-season teams of all time.

There are so many insane statistics that support the case that the Celtics are one of the greatest teams of all time. It's actually a laundry list, so to save time, I’ll give some of my favorites. The Celtics were 12.5 games better than the second-best team in the final NBA standings and they won the Eastern Conference by 14 games, which was the largest since 1976.

The Celtics' 16-3 playoff run is also the second-best in the last 25 years, trailing only the 2017 Golden State Warriors who went 16-1. They are also only the ninth team in NBA history to have 80 wins and a +79% win percentage. I don’t think many people expected to see another all-time juggernaut like those Kevin Durant/Stephen Curry-led Warriors for a long time, but it’s happened in less than a decade. I’m not saying the Celtics are better than that team, but they are certainly in the same class. 

Where do Boston Celtics rank among recent historical teams?

I think this team is the third-best team of the last 25 years, trailing only the 2017 Warriors and 2001 Los Angeles Lakers. I also think they are the second-best team in franchise history behind the 1986 squad.

The only reason I have them in the top 20 and not the top 10 is because I think they didn’t pass the eye test at certain points in the postseason with overall in-game dominance. 

However, securing the franchise's 18th title in historic fashion makes it even more special and rewarding. The only thing left for this squad to do is win multiple titles, so they can join the list of greatest runs in NBA history.