When they tipped off Game 1 on Thursday against Golden State, the team from Beantown made its first championship series appearance since 2010.
Once the terror of the NBA, mainly in the 1960s and 1980s, the Celtics have won just one league title (2008) in 35 years — since 1986.
Golden State, meanwhile, has played in the Dance six times in the eight years while winning the crown in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
During the regular season, Boston carved out a 51-31 record while Golden State came in at 53-29.
I think this is a difficult series to handicap. Each squad exacted nearly identical road game records and the team’s scored about the same number of points per game.
I believe one of the sad facts for Oklahoma City Thunder fans is that this year marks 10 years since the Thunder made their only appearance in the NBA Finals, losing to the Miami Heat in five games.
The Thunder have recorded some great seasons since — including 60-22 in 2012-13, 59-23 in 2013-14 , and 55-27 in 2015-16. In fact, since the 2009-10 campaign, the Thunder have stormed to 11 winning seasons in 13 years.
Being that the NBA seems to be a league of stepping stone progression, perhaps it will be at least a couple of years before the Thunder make another serious run.
It’s been 20 years since lightly heralded underdog Steven Bradbury won an Olympic speed skating medal by just staying on his feet while everyone else was falling around him.