Previous to the pause of the 2019-20 NBA season, basketball fans and media members alike may not have actually been overly high on the Celtics’ opportunities of reaching the NBA Finals.

With Giannis Antetokounmpo creating another MVP-caliber project, the Milwaukee Bucks were beginning to look like a runaway train. The reigning champion Toronto Raptors were beginning to find their groove, too.

But after a three-plus-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Boston’s Finals hopes relatively now are far more genuine.

Players will be entrusted with re-finding their form on the fly when the NBA resumes video game action July 31. Jalen Rose believes this situation prefers the Celtics, who include a smaller sized and more youthful team. Rose thinks Brad Stevens’ bunch will have the ability to strike the ground running next month and make a push to the championship stage.

” … I’m caring groups like the Celtics and the Rockets,” Rose stated Thursday on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown.” “Small ball, spread it out and make the most of the big people that can’t score versus the little people. That’s truly what it’s gon na be. It’s gon na be like AAU out there. These dudes have been off for months. … Boston’s winning the East. The more I think of this– God, strike me down. I hadn’t stated this out of my mouth and even considered it one time until we had this conversation, till today. Boston’s winning the East.”

Each of the 22 teams involved in the league’s restart will play eight regular-season video games before the playoffs start. Should the Eastern Conference standings hold firm following that slate, Boston would play the Philadelphia 76ers in the very first round.