The Boston Celtics fell just one game shy of reaching the NBA Finals last season, but 21-year-old guard Jaylen Brown has promised that his team will take care of business in 2019.
Appearing on the "Pull Up" podcast with C.J. McCollum (h/t Tom Schad of USA Today), Brown guaranteed that the Celtics will win the Eastern Conference in 2019, now that LeBron James has taken his talents to Los Angeles.
"Oh, we're getting to the Finals," Brown told McCollum. "No question about it."
Right now, the Celtics have to be considered the favorites to win the East. They boast a world class point guard in Kyrie Irving (he missed the postseason following knee surgery), and big man Gordon Hayward, who fractured his leg in the season opener and had to miss the rest of 2017-18.
Considering Boston came within one game of reaching the Finals without their two best players in Irving and Hayward, it's easy to see why Brown has this much confidence in his team. Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart also provide great depth for the C's.
That being said, the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors will not be easy outs, and both teams also have the makings to be a championship contender. Toronto led the East with 59 wins last season, and they went out and acquired a top-five player in the NBA, Kawhi Leonard. He's by far the league's top defender and is a dynamic scorer, so the Raptors have the chance to out-muscle Boston in crunch time.
As for Philadelphia, they boast a dynamic young core, led by Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Markelle Fultz. They lost a relatively close five-game series to Boston in the second round last season, but the 76ers are bound to get much better as the players develop more experience.
It's a three-way horse race in the Eastern Conference, but Brown doesn't want you thinking that way. He can talk the talk, but Brown now has to go up and walk the walk.