The Boston Celtics were well on their way to a second consecutive NBA Finals after knocking off the Philadelphia 76ers, however, in the Eastern Conference Finals they would be another team that would fall victim to the Miami Heat’s Cinderella run.
Coming into the series, the Celtics were heavily favored, however, they would take a quick 0-3 series deficit. Things began looking up for Boston after they were able to rattle off three consecutive wins. Many believed that they would become the first team to ever come back from such a series deficit as game seven took place on Boston’s home floor and they had all the momentum going in their favor. Despite this, the Celtics would have an absolute collapse in the closeout game and would fall by a final score of 103-84.
Although the Celtics were only one game away from another trip to the NBA Finals, they were not a convincing team through their 2023 playoff run by any means. They struggled to put away the Atlanta Hawks in the first round and would win the series in six games. In the second round, even with Joel Embiid sidelined for game one, Boston would take the series in seven games.
With one of the best players in the league Jayson Tatum on their roster, it is clear that it will be a championship or bust for the Celtics for the foreseeable future. As a result of this, there could end up being some big changes coming for the Celtics over the offseason.
The first change that could come for the Celtics is a change in the head coaching position. While Joe Mazzulla did not have a bad season as a first-year head coach by any means, the sluggish performances from his team in the postseason did not do anything to help his case. While he may be safe for the time being, it is clear that he is on the hot seat.
Recently, the Celtics brought on Sam Cassell to join their coaching staff. Cassell would end his playing career with the Celtics, and it could also be where his head coaching career begins. Since his retirement from the league, Cassell has spent years working his way up the coaching ladder, and if the Celtics start off the season slow in 2023-24, there is a strong chance that he could take Mazzula’s position.
The second facet of the organization that could see some shakeup before the 2023-24 season begins is the roster. While there is no chance that the team will trade Tatum, Jaylen Brown could be on the trade block this off-season. Rumors have begun to swirl that the Celtics could be eyeing a trade package that would send Brown and some other pieces to the Portland Trail Blazers, and in return, they would receive Damian Lillard.
This would be a very intriguing deal for both sides as Brown would get to prove himself as the first option, and Lillard would finally have a roster around him that is capable of making some noise in the playoffs. There are some other valuable pieces that the Celtics could move this offseason to retool their roster, and it is very likely that they will make one blockbuster move before the playoffs begin next season.
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