‘Being Good is Really Fragile’

It would have been easy for the Boston Celtics to simply run things back in 2023-24 considering they reached the NBA Finals in 2022 and Eastern Conference Finals in 2023, but president of basketball operations Brad Stevens had something else in mind.

Boston landed Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porziņģis this past offseason to strengthen a roster that was already among the league’s best.

“I think we’re always evaluating how we can get better, because I think if you’re not trying to get better, you’re probably going to get caught,” Stevens said of the moves, per Steve Bulpett of Heavy. “And, you know, we weren’t where we wanted to be anyways as far as a Finals or championship team. So getting caught is just something that I just think you always have to be alert to.”

He continued, explaining that remaining among the league’s best teams is anything but guaranteed.

“Being good is really fragile,” Stevens said. “Being good is really hard. And nothing is guaranteed, so you just, again, have to be on the lookout for ways to improve. Most of the time, that’s just within the walls—tweak the offense, tweak the defense, whatever the case may be. But sometimes opportunities present themselves, and you just have to be ready.”

Things have certainly worked out nicely to this point of the season.

Boston has the best record in the NBA at 43-12 and is a full six games clear of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the race for the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed. Anything less than home-court advantage throughout the playoffs and into the NBA Finals would be considered a massive disappointment and surprise at this point.

While Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are still the two go-to offensive options, Porziņģis has added another layer to the attack with his ability to score down low or extend his game beyond the arc and create matchup problems for opposing frontcourts.

And Holiday is one of the best defensive guards in the league who will surely be trusted to defend the likes of Donovan Mitchell, Damian Lillard, Tyrese Maxey, Jalen Brunson, Tyrese Haliburton or others in playoff series in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics have one of the best players in the entire league in Tatum leading the way and a loaded roster around him in large part because of the two additions.

Now they will attempt to take the next step in the postseason after reaching five of the last seven Eastern Conference Finals but still falling short of a Larry O’Brien Trophy every time.

You may also like...