In the end, the Boston Celtics were simply too much for Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks. Boston clinched a spot in the second round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs after beating the Hawks in Game 6 of their series Thursday night, 128-120.
Following the loss to Jayson Tatum and company, Trae Young declared that the Celtics are the favorites to win the NBA title.
“The team we were playing tonight is, right now, the favorites,” Young said via Brad Rowland.
With the Miami Heat knocking off the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics are the highest-seeded team in the conference left standing. From the conference’s perspective, what Trae Young said about the Celtics made plenty of sense. That being said, the top-four seeds over at the Western Conference remain alive, with the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns moving on to the next round. The Memphis Grizzlies and the Sacramento Kings have their backs against the wall, but can still turn things around.
The Celtics could have ended the Atlanta series in five games, but a series of errors and the late-game heroics of Trae Young forced a Game 6. Young started that contest on fire, scoring 25 points on 8-for-15 shooting in the first half. However, he fizzled in the final two quarters during which he went just five points on a brutal 1-for-13 shooting from the floor. Overall, Trae Young finished with 30 points and 10 assists in 40 minutes.
As for the Celtics, they will next deal with the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round.
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