The Boston Celtics are healthy and expectations are high for Brad Stevens’ group.
Boston is a heavy favorite to face Golden State in the NBA Finals and point guard Kyrie Irving believes his squad can win the series.
“Can we beat Golden State in a seven-game series? Yes,” Irving told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. “Because of who we have, and what we’re establishing here, not just for this season, but hopefully for the next few years, something that’s pretty special.”
The 26-year-old is confident that the team assembled is capable of making noise beyond the Eastern Conference, and for the next few years at that. Recent top-five picks Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are off to auspicious starts and should continue to emerge alongside veteran All-Stars Gordon Hayward, Al Horford and Irving.
While Boston is talented overall, individual familiarity with the Warriors is also seen as an advantage to Irving.
“But there’s one factor that they’re aware of, and I’m aware of, and that’s that I’ve seen them up close,” he told ESPN. “I’ve played them so many times. We’ve gone in a seven-game series [when he was in Cleveland], so I know what it takes.
“Now, how do I communicate to our guys that this is the top-tier team, and we have to grow immensely in the next six months to beat them consistently? Not just one game, not just two, but in a seven-game series, because they’re so dang great. They’re a powerhouse.”
A powerhouse that would presumably have five All-Stars in a June starting lineup — and one Irving believes can be torn down.