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“The reality is, we lost to LeBron James before we got there” - Boston Celtics’ star forward looks back at their 2018 playoffs run

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Seven
Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Seven

On GQ's "Actually Me," Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown shared his thoughts about the Celtics' 2018 playoffs. He was asked whether or not the Celtics could've won the NBA title that year.

"I mean maybe," Brown said. "The reality is, we lost to LeBron James before we got there. We were a young team. We matched up really well if we would've had Kyrie."
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"I will say this, that 2018 year when we played LeBron, that was the best form of LeBron that I've ever experienced since I've been in the league. That 2018 LeBron was special."

The 2018 Celtics were a younger version of the one that made it to the NBA finals last season. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and Al Horford were on both teams.

Their starting lineups included a 21-year-old Jaylen Brown, a 19-year-old Jayson Tatum and a 23-year-old Terry Rozier. Aron Baynes and Al Horford, who started with these three most of the time, were both 31 years old.

The Boston Celtics wouldn't have defeated the Warriors in 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Seven
Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Seven

LeBron James went toe-to-toe with a young Boston Celtics team. After seven grueling games, he grabbed a berth in the 2018 Finals. James put up breathtaking numbers in the series. He averaged 33.6 points, 9.0 rebounds and 8.4 assists per game.

Jayson Tatum’s emphatic poster dunk on LeBron James isn’t talked about enough. https://t.co/CEzUkXiR0J

The next highest scorer after James was Kevin Love. He averaged 12.5 points per game. No other player averaged double-digit points for the series. In contrast to James' situation, the Celtics had five players averaging 10-plus points per game. Jaylen Brown led all Celtics, putting up 19.7 points a night.

Once LeBron got to the Finals, things flipped on their heads. Despite putting up better numbers (34/8.5/10), LeBron James and the Cavaliers were swept by the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors featured their so-called "Death Lineup" of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

So, if James fell to the Warriors, there's no reason to believe that a young Celtics team would have defeated them.

The 2018 Boston Celtics were promising. They beat the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round and the Philadelphia 76ers in the semifinals. Even if they had overcome LeBron, it is doubtful they would have overcome a team with potentially four Hall of Famers.

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Edited by Chad Marriott
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