Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward
Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward both missed out on the NBA playoffs last season. Irving #11 and Hayward #20 look on during the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, on Oct. 2, 2017. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics could defeat the Golden State Warriors if they were to meet in the 2019 NBA Finals according to former Chicago Bulls point guard Jay Williams.

The Celtics were just one win away from defeating the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers during the Eastern Conference Finals last season, but the fact that they even reached that far was an accomplishment in itself.

After Kyrie Irving helped the Celtics finish as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, notably two places above his former team the Cavaliers, he would go on to miss the playoffs as he required surgery for knee soreness.

He was not the only player to miss out as Gordon Hayward not only sat out the playoffs but the entire season, as the All-Star suffered a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle in his left leg minutes into his Celtics debut last year.

Despite the absence of arguably their two best players, the Celtics did not seem to miss them too much, especially with the performances of rookie Jayson Tatum.

They defeated Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games before upsetting the odds and getting past the red-hot Philadelphia 76ers in just five games.

If not for James, they probably would have made the NBA Finals as well, but with the Akron native signing with the Los Angeles Lakers last month, the Celtics are now the favorites in the East. And if Irving and Gordon are healthy, Williams can see them beating the Warriors in the NBA Finals this year.

"I’m picking Boston to win the whole thing next year," Williams told ESPN's "Get Up!" on Tuesday. "If Kyrie and Gordon are healthy, why [doubt their chances]?"

Williams also believes the Celtics have the roster to match up well with the Warriors, even though the reigning champions somehow got stronger by adding DeMarcus Cousins to their ranks.

"If you talk about Jaylen Brown guarding the likes of Kevin Durant, they actually match up pretty well," he explained. "Jayson Tatum can guard the likes of Klay Thompson. You have Terry Rozier who can guard the likes of Stephen Curry, or Kyrie."

"Granted, DeMarcus Cousins could be a matchup [problem], Baynes and company, you could throw bodies at him. You could try to throw him off his game. They actually, personnel wise, match up better than any other team in the league."

It's not inconceivable. If the Celtics were impressive without Irving and Hayward, they will do even better with both of them fit.

Head coach Brad Stevens also has one of the most exciting rosters in the league capable of forming a longstanding dynasty. He recently stated he has "eight, nine, maybe 10 guys that are starters" as per

"I do think our guys have a recognition overall that that’s [game time] not what it’s about," Stevens said. "It’s about trying to be the best that we can be collectively. If we all do what we do to the best of our ability, it’ll benefit everybody individually. You only get so many chances to be a part of a special group. We’re pretty fortunate to be in this position, so we need to take advantage of it."