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Celtics winning on and off court

On Tuesday night, the NBA held its annual Draft Lottery. Despite being in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Boston Celtics had a very large interest in the proceedings. Due to a trade that sent Jason Terry, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets back in 2013, the Celtics have the rights to Brooklyn’s first-round pick this spring.

The Nets, who never won anything significant with that trade, are about to lose something much more important. As the ping pong balls would have it, the Nets did end up with the first-overall pick as percentages suggested they would. Now, the selection belongs to their Atlantic Division rivals, who are almost certain to take Washington Huskies guard Markelle Fultz with the choice.

Fultz will only add to a lineup already good enough to reach the final four teams. Boston has Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford, along with other rotational pieces such as Kelly Olinyk and Avery Bradley. With the infusion of young talent in the backcourt, head coach Brad Stevens has to be thinking about a strong offseason and then perhaps, in 2018, a championship push.

Then again, Stevens is probably focused on trying to win a title this year, as unlikely as that may be.

Despite having only one true star, the Celtics were able to grab the top seed in the East. After dropping the first two games to the Chicago Bulls in the conference quarterfinals, Boston stormed back to win four straight before taking out the Washington Wizards in a grueling seven-game affair. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers come into the conference championship rested as can be, having swept both the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors on their way to the matchup.

Despite having home-court advantage in the series, nobody believes the Celtics have any real chance of winning this series, and that’s alright. Boston was not supposed to be this advanced in the rebuild, and it has some brilliatn minds at the top in general manager Danny Ainge and Stevens on the bench. With another offseason and now a top pick (and potentially another one coming in 2018), the Celtics could and should be ready to take the throne when James finally cedes it.

Of course, the loser in all of this is the Nets. When you play in a town with the Knicks, and you are still the worst and perhaps most dysfunctional team, that’s really saying something. I digress, as that is for another day.

Today is about the Cavaliers. Tomorrow might very well be Boston, a city that was once known for a curse, and now seems to have one over the rest of the sports world.

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