‘The entire league needs to be watching.’ Celtics issue scary title warning after historic first half.

Watch out, Denver Nuggets.

 

If it wasn’t evident enough, the Boston Celtics pose the biggest threat to the defending champions’ back-to-back titles this season.

 

And, while the Nuggets, who have won six games since the All-Star break, deserve a lot of credit as defending champions, it’s easy to see why Boston is favored to win its first championship since 2008.

 

Of course, Boston has been in and around the championship picture for the last five seasons, having advanced to the Conference Finals twice and lost to Golden State in the NBA Finals.

But it feels and looks different.

 

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NBA Wrap: Tatum discusses the Celtics | 02:41

Just ask the Warriors, who recently turned a corner to move up the Western Conference standings and into the postseason picture.

 

Just ask the Warriors, who recently turned a corner to move up the Western Conference standings and into the postseason picture.

 

Golden State has won 13 of its previous 16 games before facing Boston on Monday morning. It was intended to be an early litmus test, and the results were resounding.

 

The Celtics dominated the Warriors, scoring 82-38 to take the greatest halftime advantage in franchise history.

 

Golden State has won 13 of its previous 16 games before facing Boston on Monday morning. It was intended to be an early litmus test, and the results were resounding.

 

The Celtics dominated the Warriors, scoring 82-38 to take the greatest halftime advantage in franchise history.

 

The figures showed how dominant Boston was, with 60.0 and 62.5 percent from the field and downtown, respectively, compared to 34.9 and 16.7 for Golden State.

 

The figures showed how dominant Boston was, with 60.0 and 62.5 percent from the field and downtown, respectively, compared to 34.9 and 16.7 for Golden State.

 

Jaylen Brown (25 points) and Jayson Tatum (22) outscored the Warriors individually, while Derrick White had 11 points and six assists in the first half.

Boston’s dominant first half was made all the more impressive by the absence of Kristaps Porzingis, who missed Monday’s game due to a left quad injury.

 

Richard Jefferson called it a “perfect half of basketball” from the Celtics, adding that they had placed the entire league on notice.

“This is maybe as good as any team has played in the first half this season,” Jefferson told reporters.

 

“I believe the entire league should be watching what the Boston Celtics are doing and realizing that they are the team to beat.”

 

“I understand that the Denver Nuggets are the defending champions but to me there is no greater threat to them really going on a run and winning a couple than what the Boston Celtics are presenting this season.”

“They are so jaw-droppingly good right now, you feel compelled to keep yelling [that fact]. Ryan Ruocco added, “They’re just in such an incredible rhythm right now.”

 

“Up and down the roster, Brad Stevens has to be enamoured with the way this squad is playing.”

 

The Celtics excelled not only on offense, but also on defense, shutting down Warriors superstar Steph Curry, who missed all nine of his 3-point tries in the half.

 

“They are just harassing him… he is just not seeing any daylight,” Jefferson went on to say.

 

Golden State’s 38 points were the fewest it had scored in any half of the season, while Boston’s 82 points were the most it had allowed.

 

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