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Celtics Players Believe They Could Have Beat The Warriors In The 2018 Finals If They Got Past LeBron James And The Cavaliers

Celtics Players Believe They Could Have Beat The Warriors In The 2018 Finals If They Got Past LeBron James And The Cavaliers

The 2017-18 season came to a close for the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, when they faced off against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

This particular season marked the last of James' tenure in Cleveland, and the Cavs (at that point) were really just a shell of their 2016 team. Still, the Celtics couldn't put them away despite being up 3-2 in the series and it's a failure that still haunts some of the players today.

As Marcus Smart shared on "The Old Man & The Three," there is still a belief in the locker room that had the Celtics beat the Cavs that year, they would have gone on to crush the Warriors and bring home a title.

“We definitely thought that we had a great chance,” Smart said. “And to this day, we still thought if we went to the championship instead of LeBron [James] and those guys, we definitely would have beat Golden State that year.”

The 2018 Celtics were 55-27 with a roster that included Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and (of course) Marcus Smart. They were a tough team to face at the time and likely would have posed a bigger challenge to the Warriors than the depleted Cavs did.

Still, the 2018 Warriors are widely regarded as one of the greatest teams ever. With Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, it's hard to see how a younger and less talented Celtics team could have defeated them in a 7-game series, especially since they were unable to beat LeBron's Cavs.

In the end, there's no way to know for certain who would have won in that alternate reality. The Celtics and Warriors were both pretty good, and it's unfortunate we never got to see them face off at their peak.

But it still might not be too late to see them battle it out in the postseason. If the Celtics can keep up their recent string of dominance, they could end up making a serious run come playoff time.

Hopefully, this one won't have Marcus Smart and the Celtics wondering "what if."