Celtics

Celtics

After nearly five months without the NBA, we'd watch anything at this point, right?

Give us games, especially in the postseason, and we're going to eat it up.

But let's dream a little and hope for a classic, because some of the Celtics' potential opponents would absolutely bring that potential. Here's my list.

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1. CELTICS vs. CLIPPERS

This would mean the Celtics made the NBA Finals. Rad.

It would also mean a tremendous season series would continue. The C's and Clippers split the two games they played pre-COVID, but both were tremendous games, and really, Boston should have won both. The Nov. 20 meeting will be remembered for Jayson Tatum stepping back and dropping Paul George on his bottom to hit the game-tying 3 before the Clippers prevailed in OT, but the Celtics blew that game. They had a 10-point lead with six minutes to play, but weren't able to stop... Patrick Beverley?

And Beverley's a great player, cut from the same cloth as Marcus Smart, but he's usually not the player who's going to do an opponent in with his offense. Beverley's four 3s that game remain tied for his season high.

 

The Clippers didn't have Beverley when the teams met in February for a double-overtime Celtics victory, but between the star power throughout the two teams (Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, etc.), the tenacity on each side (Beverley, Smart), the Doc Rivers element and the fact that these teams haven't been able to settle a game in regulation, Celtics-Clippers would be an absolutely awesome NBA Finals.

The Clippers would probably win, but it would be a hell of a series.

2. CELTICS vs. LAKERS

Yes, I just want the Celtics to be in the Finals. And yes, I had a hard time not putting this No. 1, but the games between the C's and Clippers have just been too good.

As for a Lakers series, the storylines would be endless. LeBron vs. the Celtics again. Tatum taking on Kobe's team for a chance to win his first title. Anthony Davis against the team he more or less spurned when it came time to leave New Orleans. Also, the whole Celtics-Lakers thing.

The C's and Lakers split their season series, too. Boston smoked the Lakers, 139-107, at the Garden in January, but the teams turned in a classic on Feb. 23 in L.A. when Tatum (41 points) outdueled LeBron (29), but Davis' 32 points helped the Lakers to a 114-112 victory in a nail-biter.

Regardless of the outcome, this would be a tremendous Finals for the league. With all that's gone on, from the loss of Kobe to the shutdown of the league, Lakers-Celtics would be a captivating finish.

3. CELTICS vs. BUCKS

I want this mainly because I think the Bucks are overrated.

I mention this every time people bring up the Bucks being daunting, but I'll say it again: The Celtics went 1-1 against them and didn't have Brown for either game. That first game, way back in October, in which the Celtics came way back to win by 11 behind Walker's 32 points, was one of the most exciting games of the season.

There's also the revenge element, if you're into that sort of thing. The Celtics took Game 1 when the teams met in the second round last season, then lost their first game of the playoffs and fell apart. Beating the Bucks would establish the Celtics as the best team in the East, and on a lesser note, it would show that this isn't last year's team.

 

4. CELTICS vs. 76ERS

I want to see this series and I don't. I'm on record of Philly scaring me more than any team in the East, but if the C's can get over how poorly they match up against a Philly team that took three of four pre-COVID meetings, they should feel invincible.

The Al Horford angle would be interesting. He hasn't put Philly over the top since leaving Boston and has admitted his new team has had chemistry issues.

It's just a shame there won't be confetti to drop in the bubble if the Sixers force overtime. 

5. CELTICS vs. RAPTORS

People say they just want a sense of normalcy in these uncertain times, right?

Well, the new format for the NHL dramatically decreases the chances of the Bruins playing the Maple Leafs this postseason, so Celtics-Raptors might be the best chance at the familiar sight of Boston eliminating Toronto in the playoffs.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Bucks, which begins Friday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 6:30 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.