Advertisement

Shades of 2008? Eddie House reacts to Celtics' eighth straight win

Shades of 2008? Eddie House reacts to Celtics' eighth straight win originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Eddie House knows what a championship team looks like in Boston. And while the 2023-24 Celtics have a long way to go, he clearly believes they're on the right track.

The C's earned their eighth straight win Saturday night by routing the New York Knicks 116-102 at Madison Square Garden. They shot nearly 60 percent from the floor, put six players in double figures and racked up eight steals as part of another dominant all-around performance.

The Knicks briefly cut Boston's lead to single digits in the fourth quarter, but the Celtics responded with a 10-0 run to put the game away, a sign of their evolution after they had trouble closing out games in recent seasons. House praised the team's ability to "shift into another gear" after the win.

"Remember when we used to be worried, like, 'Oh, here we go again, we're about to blow this'? We don't have to worry about that no more," House said on NBC Sports Boston's Celtics Postgame Live. "... It all starts with our defense. We get stops, we rebound, we close the possession out with a rebound, then we go and execute."

Boston's offensive execution has taken major strides thanks to the additions of Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis, whom ESPN color commentator JJ Redick referred to as "cheat codes" on Saturday's broadcast. House concurs with the former NBA sharpshooter's take.

"The reason why he's saying that is because he knows basketball how I know basketball, how (Brian Scalabrine) knows, how people that played (know)," House said. "It's virtually impossible, if these guys are knocking down shots, to stop the Boston Celtics. And that's what happened.

"The spacing was impeccable. ... We took advantage of every mismatch that we had and we were able to swing the ball. How many wide open threes did we get?"

The Celtics are the NBA's only team to rank in the top three in offensive rating (first) and defensive rating (third) and own the league's best record by a full five games. So, might this be the most dominant C's team since House's 2007-08 Celtics squad that won the NBA title?

House suggested as much without saying it out loud.

"This team, the way they're playing right now, is the best to me that I've seen put on the floor in a long time," House said. "I don't want to say when the last time I've seen that team be out there, one of the best Celtics teams. But this is one of the best Celtics teams I've seen put out on the floor in a while. And when we talk about legit chances to win a championship, for sure, this is one of those teams."

Boston has won 50-plus games in each of the previous two seasons and fell short of its ultimate goal both times, so the true test will come in April, May and (potentially) June. But with a 57-game sample size of impressive success, it's hard not to draw comparisons to the last Celtics team that raised a championship banner.