Celtics legend Bill Russell isn’t giving up on hope for Banner 18 in 2023

Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Playoffs

Bill Russell believes the Boston Celtics can raise championship banner No. 18 next season.

After falling to the Golden State Warriors in six games, Bill Russell is not giving up hope when it comes to his beloved Boston Celtics raising championship banner No. 18 next year.

Boston was certainly battle-tested this season. The Celtics won playoff series over the Brooklyn Nets, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat before losing to Golden State in the NBA Finals. While Boston’s last league championship is coming up on 15 years, the greatest winner the sport has ever seen believes his favorite team has what it takes to get it done during next year’s run.

Though the Celtics should be a great team again next season, the Eastern Conference is no joke.

Bill Russell is not giving up hope on the Boston Celtics raising Banner No. 18

On the optimistic side of things, there are no truly elite teams in the NBA today. Not to say Boston is about to become that, but there is no absolute juggernaut the other 29 teams will have to hopelessly navigate around. Boston did win two NBA Finals games with a first-time head coach in Ime Udoka. The experience this young core gained was invaluable. They have a real shot next season.

However, Boston does play in the tougher of the two conferences. All three teams they beat en route to the NBA Finals (Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Miami) could all win the East next season. Other teams, like the Philadelphia 76ers or the Toronto Raptors, will make things interesting. Even other Eastern Conference squads, like the Atlanta Hawks or the Cleveland Cavaliers, are not easy outs.

What this all really comes down to is Boston’s best player in Jaysom Tatum taking another quantum leap in his game. He has to play at an MVP-level next season and become an undisputed top-five player in the league. If he can become Boston’s version of what the Bucks have in Giannis Antetokounmpo, maybe the Celtics will get to raise championship banner No. 18 like Russell said?

While Boston should be in the mix to win a league title next year, the Celtics are not the favorite.

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