Ranking the Five Teams that Can Actually Beat the Boston Celtics Next Season

Ranking the Five Teams that Can Actually Beat the Boston Celtics Next Season image

📖 Published on: July 10th, 2024

✍️ Updated: July 10th, 2024

⏳ 11 mins read


It is a no-brainer that with the NBA Finals finally over, it does seem that the main focus of so many teams is to find a way to beat the Boston Celtics and claim the NBA title for themselves. The challenge is bigger than one can expect, but do any teams in the league have a chance to actually beat the Boston Celtics let alone in a seven-game series where they have thrived without much hassle?

Are the Boston Celtics Still the Team to Beat?

If you are not impressed with the way the Boston Celtics have thrived in the NBA Playoffs last season, it does seem fair considering that they didn’t have much competition until the NBA Finals. In case you missed, it, the Celtics went 16-3 in the postseason. Losing games to the Miami Heat (Round 1), Cleveland Cavaliers (Round 2), and the Dallas Mavericks (Finals). This just says a lot about how Boston is expected to be a team to beat at this point, and they are well-equipped to go for a massive run once more.

The Jays were fantastic in the 2023-24 season image

But they are not invulnerable as a whole. Aside from the three teams that have managed to put a dent in their playoff campaign, the Celtics finished with a 64-18 record, and this means that the team isn’t as unstoppable as many fans think. With the offseason in full swing, trades coming in and out, and new signings in effect, it does seem that all teams will have a chance to prove themselves better – upgrade their squads and chances of winning.

The rest of the Celtics squad presented a deep rotation image

Given how the Celtics have only been tested hard in the NBA Finals against a healthy Dallas Mavericks squad, it does seem fair to say that we haven’t seen the full strength of the team, nor have we seen the squad play in a close showdown in consecutive games. This is why fans can also argue that the Boston Celtics are more likely to improve later on, especially with injuries being an issue for the team as well. Those are expected to be addressed in the next season just as how other teams try to improve in their own ways.

Who are the Teams that Can Beat Boston?

As said before, there’s only a handful of teams that actually has a chance at defeating the Boston Celtics. Not all of these can even guarantee to send it in seven full games, but at least they can try to make an impressive effort in their games. Of course, this does not account for the overall expectations in the season.

Here are the teams that stand a chance to beat Boston in the 2024-25 season:

Oklahoma City Thunder

OKC Thunder image

It cannot be argued that the Oklahoma City Thunder have leaped into a promising team in just a full season after being predicted for another tanking year. It does seem that OKC has evolved into a contender in a short span of time, and it cannot be denied that the team has geared itself well as a championship that we have been all waiting for. The rise to stardom by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was a good note as he is now an MVP-caliber player. Jalen Williams has become a promising winger alongside him, and Chet Holmgren has continued to show that he can be a reliable player in the squad at this point in time. Now armed with playoff experience and a flurry of impressive signings, it seems that OKC is ready to take on the task of beating the Celtics.

New York Knicks

Many say that the New York Knicks are built and designed to challenge the Boston Celtics’ dominance in the Eastern Conference, but that remains to be seen as they have suffered a lot of injuries in the season and even in the playoffs. It goes without saying that a rotation of Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, Mikal Bridges, Donte DiVincenzo, and Julius Randle is expected to come up with massive strides when healthy. Other than that, it does seem that the Knicks have what it takes to come up with a massive rally that will see them return to the top of the league should they actually find themselves fighting against the Celtics.

New York Knicks image

Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves image

Arguably one of the well-rounded teams in the league, the Minnesota Timberwolves are learning more about themselves and are finding out how they can make the most of their opportunities at this point in time. Anthony Edwards is ascending to his star status in the game, showing his big value without a doubt. Then there’s Karl-Anthony Towns who is enjoying the best run of his career yet. Rudy Gobert is also in his defensive prime, which says a lot about how the rest of the squad compliments their big three – being the league’s best defense just proves that they have what it takes to push Boston to the brink.

Dallas Mavericks

Sure, the Mavs didn’t stand a chance against the Celtics, but they are making some massive changes in the offseason right now. It cannot be denied that Dallas is banged up with the way they have defeated three 50-win teams in the playoffs, which just says a lot about how they have been tested well and are entirely capable of playing well against the Celtics, especially that Game 4 explosion in the NBA Finals that saw them decimate Boston by a lot of threes. We all know that Luka Doncic is an elite scorer in his own right, and with the Mavs learning more about themselves in this loss, it is expected that they will come back stronger. With Klay Thompson added to the roster, it is clear to say that the team is definitely ready to come back with a vengeance.

Dallas Mavericks image

Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets image

The 2023 NBA champs were left with a bitter taste after choking a 20-point lead in Game 7 of the West Semis against the Wolves. Still, they are one of the top teams in the league that actually has a chance of coming up strong against the Celtics. The Nuggets run its whole game through Nikola Jokic, who just won the 2024 MVP award, and Jokic is definitely slated to take his game to the next level with just the way he has shown his massive game throughout the season. Still, there’s still more to expect from the Nuggets as Jamal Murray continues to improve on his game, and Aaron Gordon expanding his game as well.

Honorable Mention: Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers were one of the teams that looked like they had a chance against the Boston Celtics when they played in the East Semis. However, injuries have taken hold on most of their stars, especially in Jarrett Allen and Donovan Mitchell, who were both key figures in the squad’s scoring. Still, the Cavs have learned that even Darius Garland and Evan Mobley can step up well on their own, and this means that the Cavs are going to be bringing a lot of improvement in their games, especially after firing JB Bickerstaff. The Cavs deserve to be in this list because their roster compliments the Celtics well in a way that they can have an answer to almost every piece that the squad has.

Cleveland Cavaliers image

Honorable Mention: Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers image

Let’s be clear, health is a massive issue for the Sixers for almost the whole season, especially on Joel Embiid’s end. But now that they have learned more about Tyrese Maxey and have also added Paul George in their squad, it seems that this is going to be a team that will have enough firepower to challenge Boston at this point. Sure, there will be some chemistry adjustments during the season, but fans should expect some explosive performances in the game, especially with an impressive two-way star like Paul George taking on the Sixers’ wing for a promising presence on both ends of the floor. Let’s also not forget that a healthy Joel Embiid can be a promising scorer in his own right – an elite presence in almost every part of the floor can be staggering enough.

Can Any Team Beat Boston Next Season?

Everyone else is expecting to see Boston take on a climb once more to cement a new era in the NBA. Of course, no dynasty has ever dominated without a lot of tough opponents in the mix, and the Celtics can expect to see these teams or even more in terms of challenge against their reign in the NBA. For now, we are in the calm before the storm, but it cannot be denied that this will be the story that many fans will be waiting for, especially when there’s plenty of teams that will try to beat the Celtics en route to the NBA Finals and the big stage itself.

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