Wyc Grousbeck sums up '18-'19 Celtics with telling playoff prediction

Wyc Grousbeck sums up '18-'19 Celtics with telling playoff prediction

How best to describe the 2018-19 Boston Celtics, a group that entered the season with grand expectations, has fallen massively short of those expectations yet still has its most important basketball ahead?

Leave it to the boss to articulate.

Speaking Saturday at the 2019 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck aptly summed up his inconsistent squad during a panel discussion with ESPN reporter Jackie MacMullan and Los Angeles Lakers president Jeanie Buss.

"I think the players that we have on the court have the capability of getting to the (NBA) Finals," Grousbeck said, via The Boston Globe's Nicole Yang. "We also have the capability of losing in the first round."

Checks out.

After all, these Celtics have beaten the Toronto Raptors twice, swept their season series to date with the Philadelphia 76ers and taken the Golden State Warriors down to the wire in January. As All-Star guard Kyrie Irving insisted, this team can beat anybody.

... But it can also lose to anybody. Inconsistent shooting, lack of hustle and chemistry concerns have plagued the C's off and on this season, resulting in brutal losses to subpar clubs like the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic.

That's all to say the No. 5 seed Celtics are the biggest enigma in the East as the playoffs draw near.

Oh, and if the C's do get bounced early, expect president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to take action. 

"Danny would throw his mother in for the right trade," Grousbeck quipped.

Ainge's mother and picks for Anthony Davis; who says no?

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Classic Celtics: Watch C's outlast Suns in epic 1976 NBA Finals Game 5

Classic Celtics: Watch C's outlast Suns in epic 1976 NBA Finals Game 5

When it's referred to as "the greatest game ever played," it's probably worth re-watching.

NBC Sports Boston's "Classic Celtics" series -- which featured Larry Bird's dominant performance in Game 6 of the 1986 NBA Finals on Friday -- is back this Sunday with a gem from the archives: Game 5 of the 1976 NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns.

With the series knotted at 2-2, the Celtics and Suns battled through three overtimes that featured several controversial calls before C's emerged with a thrilling 128-126 win at the Boston Garden.

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Buoyed that victory, the Celtics went on to win Game 6 and secure what would be the last NBA championship for the iconic core of John Havlicek, Dave Cowens, Jo Jo White, Paul Silas and head coach Tommy Heinsohn.

Our re-broadcast of Celtics-Suns airs Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, and Heinsohn will join Brian Scalabrine to provide color commentary throughout the game. 

Here's how to watch:

When: Sunday, April 5, 7 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Boston
Streaming: NBCSportsBoston.com and in the MyTeams app

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Enes Kanter wants to finish season, thinks Celtics have a chance to win title

Enes Kanter wants to finish season, thinks Celtics have a chance to win title

It has now been 25 days since the Boston Celtics last played and 24 days since the NBA suspended its season over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. And right now, it's unclear when -- or if -- the season will resume.

And even if the games do return, there is going to be an adjustment period for players as they look to get back into game shape. In a Zoom conference on Friday, Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter outlined why the league can't just jump right back into the playoffs without any sort of tune-up.

"I think we’ll need two to three weeks just to get back on the court because people are in their apartments and not moving at all," Kanter said, as transcribed by Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. "We have to make sure everyone is doing their stuff and in great shape, so they can go out and compete. If you jump straight to playoffs, playoffs are like a war, where you have to give it everything you have. Make sure everyone is 100 percent healthy, in game shape, and then we can compete."

This completely makes sense, as the last thing the league wants is to put the players in danger of suffering long-term injuries by bringing them back too quickly. Additionally, the league probably would also want their players in peak physical shape in order to avoid fielding a subpar product in the playoffs.

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Even with the uncertainty surrounding a potential NBA return, Kanter is holding out hope that the season will return. And he's pretty confident in the C's chances of going all the way if it does happen.

"We are competitors man, so we want to go out there and finish the season,'' he said. "Especially, like, it’s crazy — we actually have a really good chance to go out there and win a championship.''

Kanter has a point. The Celtics were the No. 3 seed in the East at the time of the league's suspension, but with time to get healthy, they may have a chance to have their full roster available, something they've rarely had this season. And their relative youth could allow them to get into shape quicker than some other more veteran-laden teams.

Still, until the league actually does return, it'll be more waiting and wondering what could've been for the Celtics had the season continued.

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