The Boston Celtics may have seen other teams in the league load up talent by the 2023 deadline, but they still find themselves at the forefront of potential title contenders, according to SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell. Per O’Donnell, “The Celtics have been playing like the best team in basketball for well over a year.”

The SB Nation analyst points out how “last season’s stunning halftime turn” under former ball club head coach Ime Udoka would result in a 2022 NBA Finals berth that Boston would eventually squander to in six Losing games only to come back with a vengeance in Game 1 of the 2022-23 season.

Now, O’Donnell notes how Boston has since transformed into “the best net rating and points difference group at the All-Star break this year.”

“Boston feels like the most complete team in the NBA this season, and not just because they’re the only team in the top 5 for both offense and defense efficiency,” O’Donnell said.

“Jayson Tatum has become an MVP candidate, Jaylen Brown is one of the best #2 options in the game, and there’s so much size, shooting, and ball handling around it. The Celtics aren’t unbeatable, but they don’t usually beat themselves. It’s a team that knows exactly what they want to do and one that has never questioned everyone taking their role.”

“The league may be wide open at the moment, but the Celtics are the team to beat,” he adds.

It will take time to see how well the movements of fellow Bostonians translate into actual NBA games as players adjust to their new roles, teammates and teams.

But right now, it’s hard to argue with O’Donnell’s premise that the Celtics are the top team in the league in terms of post-season potential.

But for Team of the Season’s final games, it also means Boston is the top team with a goal on their backs.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire

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