"Oh, we're getting to the Finals."
Now that LeBron James has fled to the West Coast, the NBA's Eastern Conference is open for the taking and no team is in a better position to take advantage than the Boston Celtics. Last season, the Celtics finished second in the conference with a 55-27 record, despite playing without All-Star forward Gordon Hayward for the entire season and losing Kyrie Irving to injury late in the year.
Needless to say, the Celtics and their fan base should be supremely confident in the team's ability to get over the hump next season and take the Eastern Conference crown. Forward Jaylen Brown is certainly convinced their time is now.
Brown recently made an appearance on CJ McCollum's Pull Up podcast (h/t ESPN.com's Chris Forsberg), and noted the Celtics' 2019 plans. "Oh, we're getting to the Finals," he said. "No question about it." Additionally, Brown says his opinion would've been the same even if LeBron didn't sign with the Los Angeles Lakers.
"I hate how everybody is like, 'Oh, LeBron's gone in the East,'" Brown added. "I know he did have a strong hold on the East for the last seven years but he barely got us out of there this year. And our mindset was like, 'Man, he's not beating us again.'"
The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook recently unveiled their over/under win total projections for every team in the NBA, which listed the Celtics at 57.5, the highest of any Eastern Conference team. In fact, the only team projected to win more games than the Cs next season is the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, whose total is set at 62.5 wins.