Celtics Get 18th Championship Before Lakers
Jayson Tatum, Celtics, NBA Finals, Lakers
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics defeated the Dallas Mavericks 106-88 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to win the series 4-to-1 and hoist their 18th NBA Championship trophy. This broke the tie and moved them back ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers in all-time NBA Championships.

The Celtics, led by Jayson Tatum and NBA Finals MVP Jaylen Brown, were the best team in the NBA record-wise basically all year long. They were excellent on both sides of the ball and with high-quality role players such as Jrue Holiday, Derrick White and Kristaps Porzingis supporting their stars, were able to finally get over the hump and complete their championship run.

The rivalry between the Lakers and Celtics is one of the greatest in all of sports and is based primarily on winning at the highest level. Boston dominated the Lakers in the 1960s, but since then, the Lakers have had far more success at a much more consistent level. Since the NBA/ABA merger in 1977 the Lakers have 11 titles to the Celtics’ five and this is just the second championship for Boston since 1986.

The Lakers were finally able to tie the Celtics in all-time championships with their 2020 run led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, so to fall back behind is a kick in the gut for the franchise as a whole. But now the attention has to turn to what they can do this offseason to get back into contention as Boston has made at least the Conference Finals in six of the last eight years and likely aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

This starts with hiring the right person as the team’s new head coach, someone who can get the most out of this current era while also leading the way for years to come. Making the right roster moves this summer will also be of the utmost importance. Identifying which of the team’s current players are absolute keepers while adding the right pieces next to LeBron and Davis is not an easy task, but the pressure is on Rob Pelinka and the front office.

The Lakers are in a difficult position of trying to compete in LeBron’s final seasons while also not trying to mortgage the future away and stay at a high level once he retires and Davis is the face of the franchise. But this is the pressure that comes with the Lakers and that pressure is even higher now that the Celtics are back ahead in the championship race.

Celtics, Lakers top list of most NBA Championships of all-time

Boston Celtics – 18

Los Angeles Lakers – 17

Golden State Warriors – 7

Chicago Bulls – 6

San Antonio Spurs – 5

Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers – 3

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