I don't think it was the "one" chance but I do feel that the Celtics let a golden opportunity get away from them. It was all set up for them to win the East and I think they would've had a legit chance to knock off the Lakers in the Finals.
The ending of this season will eat away at me. This wasn't like '17 or even '18. They should've beat Miami.
It was definitely disappointing. The Celtics were the more talented team but Miami was better.
As Celts fans I feel like we haven't been on that side of a loss like that in a while. Usually the Celts are the ones pulling the upset against a more talented team.
Young teams tend to drop series against more experienced but less talented opponents, though. Happened to the Thunder against the Mavs in 2011, for example.
The end of game 6 was especially deflating. Went from a modest hard fought lead to a blowout in just a few minutes.
Still, this was a weird season. The bubble was a weird circumstance. Before 2020 we weren't sure if Tatum was going to get to a level that would warrant thinking of him as a foundational superstar for a great team. He hit that peak and more.
My takeaways from this season are:
- Tatum's Jan / Feb run
- Jaylen Brown is a steady 20 ppg All-Star caliber wing
- OT win against the Clippers
- All around good vibes after the Kyrie debacle
- Humiliating Philly in Round 1
- Great series against Toronto (first ever TOR - BOS series)
- Marcus Smart block
The Celts need a bench, they need to figure out their best closing lineup, and they need that lineup to get much better at executing in crunch time. Those are significant challenges but they're far from insurmountable.
Think about this -- the Celtics haven't had the same crunch time lineup in the playoffs in consecutive seasons in ages
. Every year it's changed.
I don't think the Celts need any major trades so much as they need a steadier supporting cast to get them through the second and third quarters as well as more continuity to build more trust and steadiness in those tough moments.