Celtics’ 18th NBA Title Caps Boston’s Epic Championship Run

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Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images Pictured: Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics

There’s something special about June 17th for the Boston Celtics.

Sixteen years to the day that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett proved “anything is possible" by winning the franchise’s 17th title, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown powered the Celtics to their NBA-record 18th championship in a 106-88, series-clinching win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Overall, with so much success in its storied history, it’s natural for some of Boston's title teams to fade into oblivion while others are more memorable.

This year’s Celtics team should fall into the latter.

Capturing the title in front of a frenzied TD Garden crowd served as a coronation for a dominant team that was favored to win it all for virtually the entire season. In fact, the Celtics became the 15th team since 1990 to win the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy after being favored heading into both the regular season and the playoffs.

The Celtics entered the Finals favored in all but three games, which is tied for second-fewest all-time. It trails only the 1996-97 Bulls, who were never once an underdog.

Furthermore, by finishing off the Mavericks in Game 5, the Celtics went 16-3 over the course of the entire postseason for an .842 winning percentage.  That’s the second-best winning percentage in playoff history in the expansion era behind only the 2017 Golden State Warriors (16-1).

Boston’s latest title provides just one more reason for the rest of the country to be envious of Beantown.

Cities from coast-to-coast boast long-suffering fans thirsty for any sort of title. Then there are Boston fans, who between the Celtics, Patriots, Bruins and Red Sox, have had a remarkable, almost unfathomable run over the past two decades. Those four teams have combined for 13 titles dating back to 2002 with the Celtics raising two banners, the Patriots six, the Red Sox four and the Bruins one. Each major franchise has also won at least one championship since 2011.

It’s been five years since Boston last broke out the duck boats following the Patriots’ Super Bowl win over the Los Angeles Rams. That’s far-and-away the city’s longest drought since the incredible run began. The previous long was three years between the Celtics’ 2008 championship and the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup title.

Oddsmakers don’t think it’ll be nearly that long until Boston raises another banner as they’re bullish on the Celtics for next season. The team hasn’t even had their parade yet, but at +300, they’re already favored to win the 2024-25 title at FanDuel.

They're the cities best hope, though, as the Red Sox are +13000 to win this year’s World Series, the Bruins +2200 to win next year’s Stanley Cup and the Patriots — to the joy of all other 31 NFL fanbases — have the second-longest Super Bowl odds in the league at +25000 ahead of the Carolina Panthers.

Add it all up and for a city blessed with 13 titles in 22 years, you can put the 2023-24 Celtics up there among the memorable teams during this golden era of Boston sports.

Evan Abrams contributed research for this article.

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Jul 24, 2024 UTC