After a 16-year wait, the Boston Celtics are NBA champions once again. A resounding 106-88 victory in Game 5 on Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks clinched the series for the C's, and ensured they would make it to the top of the mountain for the first time in the Jayson Tatum-Jaylen Brown era. This was an accomplishment years in the making, and the taste of victory is oh so sweet.

It's been a long road to this spot for Boston, who have made it to the playoffs every year since 2015. Six of those trips saw the C's make it to at least the Eastern Conference Finals, and they very nearly won a ring back in 2022 when they faced off against the Golden State Warriors in the Finals. It wasn't their time then, but it sure is now.

It was certainly tough to realize it in the moment, but every loss Boston suffered along the way proved to be a learning experience for this team, and it culminated in one of the most dominant seasons in NBA history. The Celtics exorcized quite a few ghosts along the way, and while there are several keys that led to this victory, their ability to overcome their previous mistakes is the biggest factor that led to Banner 18 finally getting raised.

The Celtics fixed every single issue that previously ended their seasons

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) holds the MVP trophy after winning the 2024 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks at TD Garden.
Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the Tatum-Brown era of the Celtics, there have been a lot of heartbreaking losses. You can go all the way back to Game 7 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals, where a rookie Tatum went toe-to-toe with LeBron James in the fourth quarter, only to eventually fall short. Year after year, despite all the talent Boston had, the rug kept on getting pulled out from underneath them in crushing fashion.

Everyone was waiting for the rug to get pulled out from under them again in the 2024 NBA Playoffs, and there were times when it seemed like it was going to happen. Kristaps Porzingis' injury woes, the concerning way they lost each of their three playoff games, or even not destroying teams they were superior to were all things that made Boston and their fans wary throughout their playoff run.

The difference was that the C's were too good and too battle-tested to allow that to happen again. After coming up short for years, Boston had no reason to lose this time around. Yes, they faced a relatively easy path to a title, but realistically speaking, there's no such thing as an easy win in the NBA. The teams the Celtics defeated gave them everything they could handle, but you don't lose just three games in the playoffs without being a good team.

The issues that plagued Boston in the past were abundant. Some years they lacked talent. Other years they struggled to close out games. Their rebounding struggled, their late-game offense was horrific, and sometimes, they didn't look like a team that wanted to play together. Fans were worried one of those issues, or even worse, a new issue, would pop up and derail this title run.

But that didn't happen. The front office created the most talented team we have seen in Boston since the turn of the century, and they were well-equipped to overcome the problems that ended their seasons in prior years. That's the making of not just championship teams, but potential dynasties in the world of sports.

Look across the board, and it's tough to find a true flaw on this team. In the early years of Boston's rise in the Eastern Conference, their biggest weakness was rebounding. This year, the Celtics were one of the best rebounding teams in the league. Case in point, after getting crushed on the glass in Game 4 of the Finals, Boston responded by hauling 15 offensive rebounds in Game 5, which was the most they recorded in a game during this playoff run. The Celtics were routinely crushing teams on the glass all throughout the postseason.

Maybe the biggest concern for Boston entering the playoffs was how they'd fare in crunch time. And yet, when they found themselves in clutch games, the Celtics won every time. They fought back several times to close games out late against the Indiana Pacers in the ECF, and easily their most important stretch of the postseason came in Game 3 of the Finals, when they threw away a 20-point lead, but managed to hold on in crunch time to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series.

There are so many other storylines or concerns that are moot now because Boston won. Winning a title is a defining moment for the legacies of Tatum and Brown, while gritty veterans in Al Horford and Jrue Holiday have further added to their own resumes with this win. After years of falling just short, the Celtics fixed their flaws and became inevitable.

Now that they have reached the top of the mountain, this team could conceivably go on a run again in future seasons, although it's going to be even tougher to sustain this success. The core of this team is in place, though, and it's going to take a lot to knock them off their pedestal. Repeating as champions is difficult, but the Celtics have proven they are a completely different team than they once were, and that's a scary proposition for the rest of the league.