Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr knows what it takes to win at the NBA level.
After winning three championships as a player on the Chicago Bulls under head coach Phil Jackson and two more with the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Popovich, Kerr has also coached the Warriors to two titles in the last three years.
As the presumed favorites in the Western Conference yet again, Golden State will be vying for their fourth-straight NBA Finals appearance this season, but the major question right now is who might represent the Eastern Conference.
Will it be the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have met the Warriors in the Finals in each of the last three years? Right now, they’re 7-7 and have not looked like a cohesive group after Kyrie Irving was traded away this summer. But, they’ll probably be gaining the services of injured point guard Isaiah Thomas at some point. Will it be the 10-3 Detroit Pistons, or are they a fluke? How about the 8-5 Washington Wizards or 8-5 Toronto Raptors?
As of right now, the clear-cut pick would be the Boston Celtics, who have surged after losing prized free agent Gordon Hayward due to a horrific injury during the season opener. Now at 13-2, they’ve won 13 games in a row and appear to be the most dominant and cohesive team in the East by a landslide.
Kerr seems to agree and believes that Boston’s success will extend beyond this season.
"It sure looks like Boston is the team of the future in the East, with the assets that they still have and their young talent and their coaching, and Kyrie [Irving] is amazing,” Kerr told reporters after practice on Tuesday, per ESPN’s Chris Haynes. “That looks like a team that is going to be at the top of the East for a long time to come. Whether their time is now or the future, that's to be determined, but they sure look like they want it to be right now.”
The Celtics and Warriors (11-3) currently have the best two records in the NBA.
Kerr is impressed at how well Boston has rebounded after disappointment in past seasons and how they’ve continued to develop their young talent while adding new pieces around their young core.
"They're really sound, and they're motivated," he said. "It's a team that's been on the rise the last couple of years. They lost in the conference finals. They want to win a championship, and it looks like it. Even without Gordon Hayward and that awful injury, Boston is just crushing people. So, it's going to be really fun to go against them on Thursday. We know how tough it's going to be.”
Boston’s massive win streak will be tested when Golden State comes to town on Thursday night. If Kyrie Irving and company are able to take down Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and their squad, the Celtics will establish themselves as not only the best team in the East, but the best team in the entire NBA at the moment.