On Sept. 19, ESPN released their opening round of basketball power index (BPI) playoff odds.
It’s no surprise the previous No. 1 seed of the East has greater than a 99.9 percent chance to be one of the 16 teams competing for a title come playoff time, however Boston was also given the second highest chance at winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy at 12.1 percent.
The reigning champion Golden State Warriors have the largest chance by a wide gap, clocking in at 57.9 percent.
In pursuit are the Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers, in that order. The remainder of competitors all drop to at or below 1 percent, with the exception of the Oklahoma City Thunder who are listed at just a 3 percent chance despite the addition of star forward Paul George to compliment MVP winner Russell Westbrook. However, this does not factor in Carmelo Anthony just yet.
Besides the obvious factors of trading for Kyrie Irving and being able to sway Gordon Hayward to join them, what else gave Celtics the boost it needed to jump above the competition?
Trading for picks and utilize them on the right players
Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum alike have garnered attention from all types of sources, with everyone raving about their incredibly high ceiling and what they will be able to provide for this organization.
10-time NBA All-Star and Celtic Legend Paul Pierce raved about the 19-year-old, saying “…he looks like a mature version of my game, like sixth, seventh, eighth year,” Pierce continued with acknowledging that “The sky is the limit for that kid.”
New addition Irving added to the hype by referring to the up and coming star as “…a baaaaaddd dude.”
Not being afraid to make moves
At the trade deadline, Danny Ainge received no shortage of flack for his lack of roster changes he chose to make. This offseason, however, Boston will retain the least amount of its players from last season of any NBA team as it returns just four. From trades to cuts, Ainge has been fearless and confidently lead his organization to a completely reformed identity.
Just three seasons ago, the rosters best players were Avery Bradley, Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger where they missed a playoff berth. Fast-forward to now, and the Celtics can proudly boast a roster with Irving, Hayward and Al Horford, along with the second-highest chance an NBA title, which would be their 18th.