The Boston Celtics Aren't Being Challenged, Which is a Good Problem to Have

The Boston Celtics have won back-to-back series in five games.
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The Boston Celtics will play in their third consecutive Eastern Conference Finals after putting the finishing touches on an overmatched Cleveland Cavaliers side on Wednesday night. Their march has been relatively easy to this point and there's a decent chance their championship capacity is not truly tested until the NBA Finals. That, of course, assumes a victory over the winner of an ongoing New York Knicks-Indiana Pacers series but the Celtics will be favored, even as questions about what they can do without Kristaps Porziņģis persist.

Joe Mazzulla's squad hasn't really been pushed to their limits and around-the-clock coverage dictates an exploration about if that will cause some problems down the road. Get Up bandied about such a conversation on Thursday morning, with Tim Legler explaining why losing only two games this postseason may actually be a bad thing for the Celtics.

As with all this stuff, it's important to say right up front that Legler may be 100 percent correct. There's a very real chance we see a superior side knock out Boston easily to lift the Larry O'Brien. But ... winning too much seems like a good problem to have in the hierarchy of problems. Because there's definitely such a thing as losing too often in the playoffs and it can knock a team out completely. Or it can prolong series, putting undue wear and tear on bodies. Or it can usher in even more doubt and a worse vibe than never having been tested at all.

One can also make the argument that the Celtics have built in a significant amount of challenge — the perfect amount really — into their postseason push without putting themselves in actual jeopardy. They've dropped both Game 2s they've played in to lose homecourt advantage before storming back to win three straight with conviction. So they've got a taste of that challenge and peril but not had to develop deep, long-lasting indigestion.

Sports punditry is an art more than it's a science so people can look at a situation and see a million different reasons for why something is or isn't happening. And everyone gets to be proven right if they choose to see it that way. Or hope that everyone forgets that they were wrong. If absolutely forced to guess what's going to happen then, yes, Boston will lose in the Finals — probably to a more talented Denver Nuggets team. And it won't be because they didn't drop enough games in the early rounds. It will be because they simply aren't good enough.

But oh well.

Yes, it'd be nice of the Celtics were challenged. But winning games isn't that bad of a thing. Is it?


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Kyle K

KYLE KOSTER