If you didn't believe in the Boston Celtics as legitimate NBA Finals contenders, it's time to start believing. The Celtics took a 2-0 series lead over the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday night thanks to a smothering defense and some timely shotmaking.
The oddsmakers are finally starting to believe as well. Boston entered Game 2 with +800 odds to win the NBA Finals, per FanDuel Sportsbook. But after that victory, the Celtics now have +550 odds to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
Celtics NBA Finals Odds
That gives Boston the third-best Finals odds right now, trailing only the Phoenix Suns (+500) and Golden State Warriors (+340). Led by a stifling defense, this Celtics team is as legit as it gets.
Kevin Durant, one of the greatest scorers in NBA history, has only converted 13-of-41 shots through two games (31.7%). He's got more turnovers (12) than assists (8) – it's hard to remember him ever looking this out of sorts. But the scariest thing about this defense is that it's not even operating at full strength.
Robert Williams III, Boston's most dynamic athlete and arguably its best defender, hasn't seen the floor since late March. Williams is Boston's best rebounder (9.6 per game), averaged the NBA's second-most blocks per game (2.2) and led the NBA in defensive rating (102.4). This team will be a buzzsaw once Timelord is back from his knee injury, which should happen before Round 2 kicks off.
The Celtics enter Game 3 against the Nets as +3.5 point underdogs. But they've been proving people wrong all season, so doubt them again at your own risk.