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"I think the Celtics might win it all" - Stephen A. Smith explains what makes the Boston Celtics his early favorites to win the NBA championship

Stephen A.Smith makes his case for the Boston Celtics as the main contender to win the NBA championship this season
Stephen A.Smith & Boston Celtics

Stephen A.Smith & Jaylen Brown & Jayson Tatum

The Boston Celtics have gotten off to one of the hottest starts in franchise history as they sit with a 21-5 record through 26 games. A beat-down on the Phoenix Suns in Chris Paul's return perfectly represents how dominant they have been this season. Their game against the Suns was the 12th game in which the Celtics scored at least 125 points. The Celtics scored at least 125 points in just 17 games last season. That stat alone should highlight how ridiculous this team has been so far this season. They have done all this without star center Robert Williams to make matters more impressive.

"I think the Boston Celtics might win it all, and I think Jayson Tatum is clearly my MVP... Right now, the Boston Celtics should be the favorites to win it all. No. 1 offense, and they're 12th defensively... And it's without Robert Williams; he ain't even back yet!!!" - Steven A. Smith on First Take.

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Key to the Celtics' success

The answer for all of Boston's success this season lies in their offensive game. Led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics have the best offensive rating in the NBA this season, with a rating of 120.6. The second-closest team is the Jazz, with a rating of 117.6. The gap between the Celtics and the second-closest team highlights how remarkable they have been this season on offense.

The Celtics have six players averaging double-digits in points per game this season. Tatum is averaging 30.5 PPG, Brown is averaging 26.7, Malcolm Brogdon is averaging 14, Marcus Smart is averaging 11.7, Derrick White is averaging 10.6, and Al Horford is averaging 10.1. The all-around contributions of this team are why they have been so successful. The depth of this roster is absurd.

Best duo in the NBA?

Tatum and Brown, or "the Jays," have been the heart and soul of this Celtics season, amounting to most of their success. The Celtics are averaging the most PPG this season, scoring 120.8 on average in each outing. Between the duo of Tatum and Brown, they are averaging 57.1 PPG, accounting for 47% of the Celtics' scoring numbers. A wild stat is that Brown and Tatum are both in the top 10 in usage rate percentage. Because of this other-worldly success, fans across the NBA have begun to label Brown and Tatum as the best duo in the association.

"I think without a doubt it is (Tatum and Brown being the best duo)." At the level they're playing, it's translating into W's. And at the end of the day, winning takes care of everything. And they have this factor; they got this chemistry. And I go back to two stars, really, that are entering the prime of their career, and the game is starting to slow down for them." - Becky Hammon on First Take

The debate for the best duo in the NBA is becoming very one-sided as Tatum and Brown's talent is undeniable. They have scored 25+ points a piece in 14 games this season which is the most by any duo. Fortunately for the Celtics, Tatum is 24, and Brown is 26. This duo will continue to make noise in the NBA for many years. 

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