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Celtics Title Odds Fall, But There’s Still Time to Turn Things Around

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NBA Basketball

Oct 24, 2018 · 10:55 AM PDT

Jayson Tatum of the Celtics
Jayson Tatum may be already capable of being the go-to guy in Boston. Photo by Keith Allison (wikipedia) [CC License].
  • The Celtics’ NBA championship odds have lengthened after the first week of the season
  • An upset loss to the Magic raises several concerns
  • Is Boston still a worthy wager?

In an early season mini crisis, the Boston Celtics – they, the consensus preseason team to beat in the East – find themselves in an unusual position: not meeting expectations.

In a span of just a week, the guys in green took a tumble down the NBA championship odds board. Have a look for yourself with our tracker, or just check this graph.

Average Odds to Win the 2019 NBA Championship

This comes on the heels of a brutal home loss to the Orlando Magic, a team in transition (aren’t they always?) taking it to a team that returns all the core pieces that missed the NBA Finals by a game a season ago.

It’s not exactly an easy fix, either. The Celtics face an issue no team has really had to face. They’re quite possibly too good.

Is this a deterrent to laying down your hard earned capital on these dudes? Let’s figure this out.

Returning Stars Not Yet There

You would think that inserting Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward onto a roster that stormed the Eastern Conference Finals as an unheralded upstart would be seamless, but it’s been anything but.

While it’s just three games, Irving has posted just 16.5 points a game on a rugged 39.1% from the field and 18.2% from beyond the arc.

We should also take it easy with the Gordon Hayward is back talk. Yes, he’s shown flashes, and in under 25 minutes a game he’s shooting 45.5% from three and averaging 11.7 points.

But this guy is nowhere near the upper tier of point forward prior to his grotesque leg injury.

These two were supposed to put Boston over the top. The greatest concern right now is fitting them in.

Celtics Have Too Many Good Players

You can never have too many good players, right? But that’s what the Celtics are fighting right now.

They have two All-Stars in Irving and Hayward paid and billed as the top options, only it’s quite certain 20-year-old Jayson Tatum will eventually be the guy.

Could it be as early as this year? If so, how does Irving become a facilitator when he’s been one of the most lethal scorers in the league the last four years?

You’ve got massively overqualified role players in Jaylen Brown (30.5 mpg, 10.3 FG attempts) and Terry Rozier (22.0mpg, 8.5 FG attempts) who could be starters elsewhere, yet they’re merely part of the system here.

Throw in Marcus Smart, Marcus Morris and Al Horford, and that’s eight guys that can lay claim to massive minutes for those five spots on the court, and still just one basketball.

It’s a luxury problem, Brad Stevens is going to have to figure out. We already know there are little fractures that could lead to a team-crippling earthquake if it continue to linger.

2019 NBA Championship Odds

Team Odds to Win the 2019 NBA Championship (10/23/18)
Golden State Warriors -175
Boston Celtics +550
Houston Rockets +900
Los Angeles Lakers +1000
Toronto Raptors +1200

Is Boston Worthy of the Investment?

We do need to settle down. There are still 79 games to go in this marathon and a lot could happen. It’s entirely possible the Celts don’t even have the same pieces come playoff time. Taking them now is still a great pick.

Looking for value, though? I have to direct you to the Toronto Raptors and their +1200 NBA Championship odds. This is a team that has its hierarchy figured out up top, and the rest will fall in line.

When the top is Kawhi Leonard, looking great as he tries to regain his all-world form, the potential is there to not just make the Finals, but make some serious noise too.

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