The wait is over for Boston, which after 12 years he will return to the NBA finals after defeating Miami in the seventh game of the decisive series in the East. However, the Celtics will not only go for a new title – an achievement they have not achieved since 2008 – but they will also seek to be the most successful in the best league in the world, leaving behind no less than Los Angeles Lakers.
Founded in 1946, the historic franchise is one of the three that competed in all seasons of the yankee contest – the others are the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors, their rival in the final – which this year is contesting its 75th edition.
Boston played every season in the NBA. (Reuters)
In addition, he will seek his 18th ring, a fact that would place him as the most successful in history. His first achievement was in 1957 led by Red Auerbach off the bench and led by Bill Russell on the pitch. After losing the 1958 final against Saint Louis Hawks, the Celtics went on a streak of 8 consecutive titles from 1959 to 1966 and two more in 1968 and 1969.
Russell (first from left) led his team in the 1950s and ’60s. (AP)
Now without Russell and with Tom Hiensohn off the bench, another figure who was part of the spectacular 1960s, and the inclusion of Dave Cowens, selected in the 1970 draft, the Celtics tried on the rings again in 1974 and 1976. The second half of the 1970s was not a good one for Boston, which had an achievementless hiatus until the early 1980s. when the legendary Larry Bird burst in.
With Bird, who was part of the remembered American Dream Team at Barcelona 1992, the Celtics kept the 1981, 1984 and 1986 editions. However, after the JJ.OO. Barcelona, the blond had to retire due to his persistent back problems, which meant a severe blow to the franchise, which endured a wait of 22 years to return to the top.
Celtics legend Larry Bird.
Finally, in 2008, Boston was able to let off steam at the hands of a great Big 3 made up of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, which was the basis for defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 4-2. Two years later they reached a new final, but this time the same rival defeated them with the same result. That was the last decisive series played by the Celtics.
Paul Pierce celebrates after winning the final in 2008. (Reuters)
The Tatum era
In the 2017 Draft the Celtics chose Jayson Tatum, who had barely played a season in college basketball with Duke. The Missouri-born player came close to winning the rookie award in his first season and in 2018 he played in the Conference finals, which he would lose to LeBron James’ Cavalliers.
Tatum arrived in Boston in 2017. (AFP)
in the current seasonthe Celtics finished second in the Eastern Conference just two games behind Miami. Tatum led his team in points in the regular season (26.9 average) and also in the playoffs, where he scored an average of 27 points per game.
Since his arrival in the NBA, the forward has added 7,640 points (average of 20.9 per game), 2,420 rebounds (6.6) and 1,106 assists (3) in the regular season. In the playoffs his numbers are 1,614 (23.4), 470 (6.8) and 287 (4.2), respectively.
The dates of the grand finale
The decisive series between Golden State and Boston will begin this Thursday at 10 p.m. in San Franciscosame scenario where the second match will be played, on Sunday 5 and at 9:00 p.m.
Subsequently, will continue with two duels in BostonWednesday 8 and Friday 10. Both games will be played from 10 p.m.
Curry, the figure of Golden State. (AP)
Then, if necessary, there will be another three games. On Monday the 13th (at the Warriors’ house and at 10 pm), on Thursday the 16th (local Boston, 22) and on Sunday the 19th (local Warriors, 21). All the meetings can be seen by the signals of ESPN and Star +.
This will be the second time that both teams have played in the final. The previous one was in 1964, when Boston won 4-1. In the 2021-2022 regular phase they met twice, with one win per side.
They have met twice this season with one win per side. (AP)
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Boston, the historic one that goes to the final for a new NBA record