The Boston Celtics don't care about Eastern Conference championships.

According to the team's general manager, Danny Ainge, the Celtics couldn't care less about winning the Eastern Conference and merely advancing to the NBA Finals this season. They want to go to the Finals and win the championship. That is the goal, according to Ainge, via Colton Jones of Amico Hoops:

“What do I care about the Eastern Conference? I don’t really care about that,” Ainge, the Boston Celtics president of basketball operations told reporters after the Celtics’ summer team practiced in Las Vegas. “We’re trying to win championships, and you still have to play LeBron.

“I think that there’s a lot of good teams in the East that get undersold a little bit,” he continued. “I think Washington, and Milwaukee [is] an up-and-coming team, and Toronto was the best team in the conference last year during the regular season. I think they’re a fantastic team. So the East is going to be tough.”

The reason why this is a major topic is because LeBron James finally left the Eastern Conference for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors are obviously the supreme team of the NBA. LeBron had advanced to eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances, negating any chance that the other Eastern Conference teams had of breaking through the ceiling and getting to the NBA Finals.

The Celtics fell short on two consecutive occasions, losing in the 2017 and 2018 Eastern Conference Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Furthermore, the Warriors are the two-time defending NBA champions and added All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to the starting lineup this offseason. The 2018-19 starting lineup of Cousins, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will be the first starting five that will feature five All-Stars since the 1974-75 Celtics.

In other words, most people assume that the Warriors are going to walk away with the 2019 Larry O'Brien Trophy. Which is why people are assuming the Celtics will be resigned to merely accepting an NBA Finals appearance as a success.

While some may find it crazy to believe the Celtics could beat the Warriors in a seven-game playoff series, they did beat the Warriors during the 2017-18 season with Golden State at full strength and without Gordon Hayward. Boston overcame a double-digit deficit on national television to upset Golden State.

Considering the Celtics have the best defense in the NBA and will have a healthy Hayward and Kyrie Irving back, is it really crazy to believe that they could clamp down on Golden State and beat them in a seven-game series?

The Celtics were within one game of reaching the NBA Finals without both Hayward and Irving in the 2018 NBA playoffs. Boston may not be an "exciting" team or as flashy as the Warriors are, but don't underestimate them.