Team co-owner Wyc Grousbeck recently said he enjoyed the wild ride through the postseason last year. He knows the Celtics will be right up there in the preseason rankings. He expects his team to contend for another championship, but he also believes his team is “overrated.”
The Boston Celtics head into the 2022-23 season as the favorite to win the NBA title
The Celtics had quite the run last season, hitting a hot streak that began in late January and ran throughout the postseason. After an ugly 25-25 start, Boston rattled off 26 wins in 32 games to close out the regular season.
They earned the No. 2 seed on the final day of the regular season, setting up a first-round playoff meeting with the seventh-seeded Brooklyn Nets. Boston’s postseason run was as grueling as any team’s.
After sweeping the Nets, they faced the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks and then the top-seeded Miami Heat. They outlasted both in seven games. Then they took on the Golden State Warriors, losing in six games.
The Celtics were two games from winning their 18th championship, despite the fact Jayson Tatum struggled in the playoffs. He was inconsistent throughout the postseason, yet Boston reached Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Depth was a problem during the playoffs as the Celtics consistently used an eight-man rotation. In the offseason, Brad Stevens addressed the issue, trading for veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon without surrendering any core pieces of the team. He also signed veteran Danilo Gallinari, who tore his ACL in a summer game and is expected to miss most, if not all, of the upcoming season.
According to Bally’s Sportsbook, The Celtics are the favorite to win the NBA title at +500. Golden State is next at +600. The Milwaukee Bucks (+750), Brooklyn Nets (+800), and Los Angeles Clippers (+800) round out the top five.
Wyc Grousbeck believes his team is ‘overrated’
Grousbeck would be the first to disagree with those odds. Although he loves the current construction of this team and loves the direction it’s headed, he doesn’t believe the Celtics should be THE favorite to win it all this season.
“I loved being right there with them. It was thrilling,” Grousbeck told Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. “The other side of the coin is I think that we’ve now been overrated.
“I think that performance was a bit overrated in the public mind, or my own mind, because I’m the one saying it. (We were) a finalist and two wins away from winning it, but when you look back, Brooklyn was a tough series, and then we had to go seven games (against the Bucks and Heat). Then we lost (to Golden State).
“So, we’re not a hands-down team to repeat as Eastern Conference champions. I think we’re a quality team.”
Grousbeck is OK with a co-favorite label, as long as there are multiple teams in the conversation.
“I am (trying to tone down expectations), but I’m not trying to do that in some manipulative way. It’s how I feel,” Grousbeck said.
“Look, I wouldn’t pick anybody ahead of us. But I don’t think we’ve got any smooth sailing ahead. We were a good team last year that won some key close games and were in the mix. But I don’t have us as the favorites. There are five or six co-favorites, as far as I’m concerned.”