Joe Mazzulla keeps it real on whether Boston Celtics are east's team to beat

Utah Jazz v Boston Celtics
Utah Jazz v Boston Celtics / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Joe Mazzulla wasn't about to claim that his Boston Celtics have achieved anything with him at the helm since the start of the 2022-23 season, keeping it real when asked if the Miami Heating trading for Terry Rozier or the Milwaukee Bucks hiring Doc Rivers were moves made to usurp the Cs.

“I don’t think they’re competing with us," Mazzulla said. "First of all, we haven’t won. So I don’t know why anyone’s competing with us. We haven’t won a championship since 2008. We’re certainly not the standard. We’re chasing people as much as people may say they’re chasing us. We don’t even look at it in that standpoint. We just have to keep that healthy balance of knowing we’re a really good teams but there’s also other really good teams and how we match up against them and how do we continue to get better as a team.”

That attitude is indicative of a man who knows that history only looks back at the ring-winners as it pertains to the NBA. As good as the Cs have been, they won't be together for long if there isn't Banner 18 in the TD Garden to show for it.

Boston Celtics aren't set in stone for the next several years unless they win it all

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are the pieces who are seemingly nailed in place with the Cs, though Brown's standing is more up for debate after previous criticisms of the city and his involvement in Kevin Durant trade rumors.

The rest? There's no reason to believe anyone else has more than two years tops on this roster.

Brad Stevens has shuffled players in and out of Boston, and with complicated contract situations with Derrick White and Jrue Holiday to confront the next two offseasons, retaining both with the new CBA's punitive tax penalties could be a challenge. Kristaps Porzingis has been traded three times since 2019, so as well as he has fit, things could change over the next two and a half years under contract. Al Horford would more likely retire than be traded, and how long he is willing to keep going is unknown at this time. He's under contract until 2025. The rest of the Boston Celtics second unit has arguably even less long-term security if this current roster doesn't win it all.

A championship means Wyc Grousbeck spends whatever it takes to keep them coming. Anything short means this roster can change at a moment's notice.