When I look at the 2009-2010 Boston Celtics, one word comes to mind…STACKED. There is a great deal of talent on this team and the Celtics are built to make another championship run this season.
GM Danny Ainge made some moves over the summer, none bigger than signing center Rasheed Wallace to a 2 year deal. Ainge, Coach Doc Rivers, and the Big Three all went to Rasheed's house to convince him to sign with the Green. He is an important pick up for the Celtics. Rasheed not only gives them strength coming off the bench, but gives the Celtics more insurance if Kevin Garnett is not at 100% to start the season. I know its only preseason, but already Rasheed has made his presence felt. Rasheed dropped 20 points in Tuesday's night game against the Nets. Rasheed can do everything on the court. He can post up and take it inside, he can stretch defense by consistently hitting from 3 point land, he can pass, and he can defend. He Got Game.
Ainge wasn't done though. Another important pick up was acquiring Marquis Daniels. Daniels is a 6'6″ guard brought over from the Indiana Pacers. In 08-09 season with the Pacers, Daniels averaged 13.6 ppg. Daniels is a 6 year professional and knows how to play the game. He gives the Celtics a legit scorer coming off of the bench. He can create shots on his own. Daniels will give Allen and Pierce rest, hugely important if the Celtics want to be successful in the playoffs. Pierce played a lot of minutes to end the regular season and it showed in the playoffs. Another plus to Daniels is that he's able to run the point for the second unit giving Rondo a breather and taking the pressure off of Eddie House. This will allow House to roam around and find his open spot beyond the arc where he can be deadly. House resigned with the Celtics. His role is clearly defined. Find a way to get open and drain the three when you get the ball. It's that simple. House when hot, can ignite the team.
Glen “Big Baby” Davis was resigned in the off season. With KG out with an injury for the second half of last season, Big Baby played more minutes and made the most of his opportunity. Baby also hit a game winning shot against the Magic in game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals last season. Big Baby will have limited minutes this year with KG starting and Rasheed off the bench, but he's proven in the past two seasons he will make the most out every opportunity Coach Rivers gives him. And reportedly, Big Baby took martial arts classes during the off season. He's taking the classes not to learn how to break pieces of wood with his bare hand, but to learn to be more agile and in more control of his large frame. A more agile freight train. Look out defenders.
The second unit looks better than last year's and the first unit is the same; big three with Rajon Rondo running point and Kendrick Perkins at center. I was really impressed with Kendrick Perkins in the playoffs last year. I thought without KG, he would have problems creating offense for himself, but I was wrong. He played consistent basketball and played very well against Dwight Howard. Rondo proved in the playoff series against the Bulls that he can be a top tier point guard. He carried the team on his shoulders. Can Rondo carry that momentum and be dominant for a whole season? He has the talent to do so.
Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are proven veterans. No worries there. Allen played excellent basketball last season, proving he has plenty in the tank. And Pierce is Pierce. His passion for the game never wavers. He no longer has to carry the team but is more than willing if the team needs him to do it.
The big concern going into this year is the health of Kevin Garnett. Is he 100%? So far in preseason, it's hard to tell. He's played a good amount of minutes and he definitely looks like he's moving around well. We won't know till game 1 against Lebron and the Cavs on October 27th how well he's feeling. If KG is healthy and can return to form, this team is probably the best team in the Eastern Conference and may find their way back to the NBA Finals. Even if KG isn't a 100% for the whole season, this team is good enough to go deep in the playoffs.
The Celtics will not steam roll their way through the Eastern Conference. The Celtics have major competition with Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic. Cavs and Magic made some moves in the off season as well.
Cleveland Cavaliers have the reigning MVP in Lebron James, the second best player on the planet. Sorry Lebron, but Kobe is the man. The Cavs brought in Shaq Diesel himself. He may be older, but he can still create havoc for defenders. Shaq should take some of the pressure off of Lebron. And Shaq has a track record too. Shaq and Kobe = Championships. Shaq and Wade = Championship. Shaq and Lebron = ??? Will Shaq be the missing piece and take the Cavs over the top? The Cavaliers had the best regular season record last year but fell short against the Magic.
Orlando Magic signed Vince Carter in the off season. A great signing by the Magic with Turkoglu signing with the Raptors. Carter averaged 20.8 ppg last season. He creates his own offense and will benefit from the double team Dwight Howard will receive. Magic will have Jameer Nelson back from injury, Rashard Lewis and new acquisition Brandon Bass at forward positions. They resigned back up center Gortat in the off season as well. However, this team is built around Dwight Howard. Is this the season Howard becomes a MVP type player. I think it will be. The Magic shocked everyone including themselves last year in the post season by going to the NBA Finals. Last year's team was built around living and dying by the three. They were successful with it last year but a team can't survive that way. This Orlando Magic team will look different. I expect more offense to come from inside the paint with Howard and Bass taking high percentage shots and Carter and Lewis driving it to the hoop.
The Boston Celtics will have some tough competition, but with or without my green colored glasses, I think they are the best team in the Eastern Conference. However, the L.A. Lakers look like the best team in the NBA going into the season. Will it be another Celtics vs. Lakers Finals?
I'm looking forward to the start of the season, 11 days and counting. Celtics play the Cavs at Cleveland on October 27th. I love the fact that game 1 of the season matters.
Let me know your predictions on the Boston Celtics season and how they will fair against the other elite teams in the NBA.
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Written by johnw