Marcus Smart says Celtics believe they would’ve defeated 2018 Warriors had they beaten LeBron James’ Cavs

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics guard Marcus believes that had the Celtics gotten past the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 playoffs, they would have defeated the Golden State Warriors in that year’s NBA Finals.

“We definitely thought that we had a great chance,” Smart said. “And to this day, we still thought if we went to the championship instead of LeBron [James] and those guys, we definitely would have beat Golden State that year.”

The 2017-18 Cavs were led by James, who played a huge role in helping the team get to the finals for the fourth consecutive year.

In the Eastern Conference Finals, James led the Cavaliers back from a 3-2 deficit against Smart and the Celtics, delivering a memorable performance during Game 7 in Boston.

In that contest, James played 48 minutes and contributed 35 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists and two blocks in the 87-79 battle.

That victory sent the Cavs to the NBA Finals, where they were swept in four games by the Warriors. James ended up leaving the Cavs in the offseason.

At the time of that 2018 series between the Cavaliers and Celtics, the perception by some was that Boston’s young squad was going to be a force within the Eastern Conference for years to come.

So far, that hasn’t been the case. Boston still hasn’t reached the NBA Finals since 2010.

This season, the Celtics have compiled a 33-25 record, and they’re hoping to make a deep run once the playoffs come around.

Hypothetical situations, of course, should be taken with a grain of salt. It’s impossible to know how the Celtics would have performed against the Warriors in the 2018 NBA Finals.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.