July 25, 2024

The Boston Celtics dominated the playoffs with a 16-3 record, securing their 18th NBA championship. The New York Knicks were just one win away from facing the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, but injuries prevented this high-stakes showdown.

Many believe that a fully healthy Knicks team has the best chance to challenge the Celtics for the Eastern Conference title in 2024. Celtics legend and Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett considers New York the biggest threat to Boston’s potential dynasty.

“To me, the Knicks are built to challenge this Celtics team,” Garnett said on Ticket & The Truth with Paul Pierce. “You got a f— point guard who’s a closer. He’s activated … if you’re a small forward he can score on you. Then you got an animal that’s been in the cage [in Julius] Randle. I’m putting my money on Randle this year.”

A fully healthy Knicks team could match up well with the Celtics
The Knicks struggled against the 64-win Celtics during the regular season, going just 1-4 against them.

However, their lone win came in the only game featuring their new lineup with OG Anunoby, where Jalen Brunson scored 39 points and led the team to a 29-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

Though Julius Randle missed that game, past performance indicates that New York matches up well with Boston when all key players are present. In the 2022-23 season, the Knicks were 3-1 against the Celtics in the regular season and missed facing them in the Eastern Conference Finals, losing to the Miami Heat in the second round.

Celtics legend believes Knicks are biggest threat to to the recent champions

Before this season, the Celtics made significant additions, acquiring Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis, which contributed to their success and championship. The Knicks added OG Anunoby and Bojan Bogdanovic mid-season, while parting with RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, crucial moves for their success.

Both the Knicks and the Celtics are expected to retain their 2024 rosters
Boston plans to keep its main roster intact for another championship run. Similarly, the Knicks aim to retain Anunoby and free agent Isaiah Hartenstein, hoping a fully healthy lineup will reveal championship potential.

The Knicks may also explore trade market additions, with stars like Devin Booker and Paul George as potential targets. Even without a major addition, they have the talent to compete with the Celtics, provided they stay healthy. The Knicks boast a strong mix of high-level scoring, elite defense, and a defensive-minded coach in Tom Thibodeau.

If both teams remain healthy next season, they could finally meet in a prestigious playoff matchup, clarifying the talent gap between them.

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