The MLB All-Star game on Monday night was a much more subdued affair than the Home Run Derby, which had one of the largest crowds ever seen at an event. The new rule change to keep pitchers from punching batters in order has injected excitement back into America’s pastime.

The “boston celtics” is a professional basketball team that plays in the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association. They won their 18th NBA championship last year, and with LeBron James on board, it’s not hard to see why.

Nobody was thinking about Banner No. 18 in December. Fans of the Boston Celtics, on the other hand, had a lot of questions. Was it the appropriate decision to choose Ime Udoka as their new coach? Can Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown ever win a championship with the Celtics? Can the two stars get along?

In 2021, you weren’t alone if you responded “no” to any or all of those questions.

In January, something occurred. Something made sense. It’s difficult to say precisely what happened or when it happened. The Celtics were on fire. They’ve been the greatest team in basketball for the past three months, and they’re still going strong. Nobody is doubting the squad or the coach any more, and title No. 18 is just eight victories away.

The Boston Celtics were frustrated, but they also matured.

Smart-1024x703

Smart-1024x703 Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics celebrates a fourth-quarter three-pointer against the Milwaukee Bucks. | Getty Images/Jim Davis/The Boston Globe .

The Celtics played some dreadful basketball before the year 2022 began. Udoka took over as president of basketball operations from Brad Stevens, who had succeeded Danny Ainge. Ainge seems to have made the correct decision when he retired over the winter. The Celtics finished 36-36 with Tatum and Brown, and the Brooklyn Nets soon sent them home with a first-round playoff defeat, capping an abysmal 2020-21 season.

The early half of the 2021-22 season didn’t get much better. With a 25-25 record after 50 games, the Celtics have remained average.

Players were irritated. After losing a large second-half lead against the Chicago Bulls, Marcus Smart openly chastised Tatum and Brown for their selfish play. As further leads were lost, Udoka questioned his team’s effort on multiple occasions.

Then there was January.

The beginning of the month was similar, with a 24-point lead squandered to the New York Knicks after a defeat to the San Antonio Spurs in which Brown missed a game-tying basket in the last seconds. The Celtics’ 18-21 defeat to the Knicks may have been their lowest point of the season. After that game, when RJ Barrett banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer to secure the Celtics’ defeat, Udoka questioned the team’s mental fortitude.

Udoka noted in March that the Knicks game may have been the tipping moment.

“We had lost back-to-back games on a missed layup against San Antonio and then obviously gave up a large lead to the Knicks and Barrett scoring the game-winner at the buzzer in those 27 games.” As a result, I tested their mental toughness.”

The Boston Celtics went on a tear and haven’t looked back since.

The Celtics faced the Knicks two days after losing to them in the first game of a back-to-back. In a dominant 99-75 win, Boston limited New York to 75 points. It was the first of three consecutive victories. Then they went on a couple of two-game winning runs before winning nine consecutive games from January 29 to February 15.

The Celtics finished the regular season with a 26-6 record after starting the season with a 25-25 record. On the last day of the regular season, a club that didn’t know whether it would make the playoffs got the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics almost reverted back to their old ways in the opening game of the playoffs, when they established a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter against the Brooklyn Nets, only to see it vanish. When Tatum made a game-winning layup at the buzzer, they came back from a five-point deficit to win Game 1.

Victory was great, particularly after Boston had gone through so much to get there.

During his postgame news conference, Smart noted, “(The victory) was rewarding for us.” “Especially considering how we began the year. We would have lost such sorts of games. We would have most likely disintegrated. For a little period, it seemed like this was the path it was taking.

“Our resiliency, our attitude, and the effort that we put in to make sure that doesn’t happen, as well as simply learning.” We had a lot of games to learn from with those sorts of occurrences, unfortunately. Everyone completed their tasks.”

Can the Celtics finally break through?

“They were unhappy to lose, but they’re eager to avenge themselves, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Derrick White says the Celtics are ready to avenge their loss to the Heat in the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals 😤 pic.twitter.com/P6AkfO6QvP

— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 17, 2022

The Celtics have reached the Eastern Conference Finals four times in the last six years. They’ve never made it to the NBA Finals during that time.

The Celtics are favored by bookmakers. Many feel the Nets and Bucks are more talented than Miami, and the Celtics have already sent them home.

Brown and Tatum are ravenous. Now is their chance to shine. It’s a youthful gang that’ll probably keep together for a long time. For Tatum and Brown, getting past the Heat would be a major step forward.

After the Heat eliminated them two years ago, no one is calling this a vengeance series. Derrick White, a newcomer, hinted that there could be some backroom chatter about it.

During a news conference, White remarked, “I’m simply listening to the tales that some men have from that past.” “A number of them have made it to the Eastern Conference Finals but not beyond.” We want to alter that.

“They were sad to lose (in 2020), but they want to avenge themselves.” I’m delighted to be a part of it.”

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