The Boston Celtics are a "team of the future in the East", according to Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
While lavishing praise on the red-hot Celtics on Tuesday, Kerr may have provided LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers the bulletin-board material they need to pull themselves out of their early-season funk, as well as motivate them come play-off time.
Speaking ahead of Golden State's Thursday game at Boston, Kerr went beyond the obvious - that coach Brad Stevens and point guard Kyrie Irving are both "amazing" - to mention Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and "really smart, really sharp" big men Al Horford and Aron Baynes as pieces that make the Celtics the team to watch in the East.
"They're all on a string, they play off each other really well, they're really sound and they're motivated," Kerr said.
"It's a team that's been on the rise the last couple years, lost in the conference finals, they want to win a championship, and it looks like it. Even with Gordon Hayward and that awful injury, Boston is just crushing people."
Kerr added that since he has been their coach, the Warriors "always keep our eyes on the East, the handful of teams we know we can see if we get to the Finals. Obviously, the last couple of years it's been Cleveland".
While he did not explicitly say the Cavs are no longer that team, the implication was that they are about to get passed by the Celts.
"It sure looks like Boston is the team of the future in the East with their assets that they still have and the young talent and their coaching," Kerr said.