After a wildly competitive and entertaining offseason, the Eastern Conference headlines are being ruled by Brooklyn and Philadelphia.
For the Nets, Round 2 has begun for their star-studded trio and they're considered massive favorites to not only win the Conference but win the title as well.
Of course, in Philadelphia, the fallout surrounding Ben Simmons has the entire basketball community tuning in for updates and the franchise has yet to settle on a proper solution.
With all the noise going on between those two teams, the Boston Celtics have flown under the radar ever since their elimination in the 2021 playoffs. But, according to expert ESPN analyst Zach Lowe, the Celtics could be a team that surprises a lot of people this campaign.
“People are sleeping on Boston. The Celtics are deep, with the makings of a top-5-ish defense; lineups featuring Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Robert Williams III will be hard to score against.”
While not as stacked as some other notable squads, Boston does have some serious talent. Interestingly enough, Lowe isn't the only one to rave about their potential:
"I’m going to say the Boston Celtics are going to be a top-four team in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee, Brooklyn, Miami, and Boston. Not sure on the order. I’m sorry Sixer fans, I think we’re heading into team turmoil this year, and I’m not putting all my eggs in a Sixers basket. I think people are sleeping on the Celtics, I think they’re under the radar," Marks said, as quoted by CelticsWire.
Regarding the Celtics, it's pretty clear that their fate will b=mostly be determined by the development of Jayson Tatum -- a young, NBA All-Star who has shown flashes of superstardom already.
If he can start consistently performing like a franchise-level player (akin to guys like Giannis, Dame, and Luka), it might be the key to unlocking the young team.