The NBA trade deadline has passed, giving teams a chance to assess their championship chances. The Celtics made two under-the-radar moves, with the additions of Xavier Tillman and Jaden Springer. Around the Eastern Conference, things got interesting, giving us at the Houdini a chance to assess who the biggest threat to the Boston Celtics is.
The top threat to the Boston Celtics is the New York Knicks. Yes, for the first time in a long time, the Knicks are indeed the biggest threats to the Cs in the East. The Knicks were able to acquire OG Anunoby, Alec Burks, and Bojan Bogdanović this season, without giving up a first-round pick. It seems that the Knicks are actually a well-run organization again, which is a scary sight.
When looking at a potential playoff matchup, the Knicks match up very well with the Celtics. They have multiple guys they can throw at Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, with the biggest advantage being their strength. Josh Hart, Anunoby, and Bogdanović are all physical defenders, which Tatum and Brown have struggled with in the past.
The Knicks are also a physically and mentally tough team that is predicated on playing tough defense and out-hustling its opponent. This should be a concern for the Celtics because they have a history of struggling in the postseason against teams that are built that way. The Knicks remind me a lot of the Miami Heat, who have given the Celtics fits in recent postseason. Although Jalen Brunson is not Jimmy Butler, he is still capable of giving the Celtics problems.
Knicks' hunger makes them biggest east threat to Boston Celtics
The reason why I have the Knicks as the biggest threat to the Cs over the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, or Heat, is because of the hunger factor. It feels like it's the Knick's time, and they are hungry to compete for a title. The prospect of facing the Knicks in a playoff series is a cause for concern, considering the overall makeup of both teams.
Ultimately, all Celtics fans should have their eyes on the Feb. 24 matchup as it could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals.