Home » Among NBA’s best teams, ESPN grades Boston Celtics a ‘top-shelf’ contender

Among NBA’s best teams, ESPN grades Boston Celtics a ‘top-shelf’ contender

When it comes to contenders for the 2023 NBA title, the Boston Celtics are in rarified air per ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry, who rates the Celtics a “top-shelf” contender along with the Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, and Phoenix Suns. “According to all the key indicators, the Celtics have been the NBA’s best regular-season team for the past year,” writes Goldsberry. “This season, they lead the league in net rating because they pair the league’s third-most efficient offense with its fourth-most efficient defense.”

“The team has continued to thrive under first-year coach Joe Mazzulla, but one thing to watch in this season’s playoffs will be the club’s increased reliance on 3-point shooting and the performance variance that habit invites,” he adds.

“Boston’s trip to the Finals last season was no fluke, but it was also aided by an untimely injury to Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton, who missed the entirety of their epic second-round series,” Goldsberry reminds us.

Below the “top-shelf” contenders, the ESPN analyst places the Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, and Golden State Warriors.

Among those Goldsberry considers “long shots” are the Sacramento Kings, Miami Heat, and — as the “longest shot” — the Los Angeles Lakers.

Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zBKQY6

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3GfUPFi

YouTube: https://bit.ly/3F9DvjQ