Thursday, October 12, 2006
The Boston Celtics and another NBA Season
Well, another NBA season is about to begin. I've been an avid Boston Celtics fan since the Russell-Cousy-Heinsohn days in the mid-50's. There were a lot of championships throughout the 60's, 70's, and 80's; but, twenty years have passed since the Celtics led by the Big 3, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, last won an NBA Championship in 1986. It seems each season brings renewed optimism that this could be the year that "Banner No. 17" will be raised to the rafters of the "Garden" (or whatever the arena is called this year). And, I guess this year is no different. The C's are still a very young and inexperienced team; but, seem to have a lot of talent (or is this just blind optimism, again). Two games into the preseason (one a victory over Cleveland, and one an OT loss to Toronto) and a few observations can be noted: one is the quickness of rookie Rajon Rondo, two is the continued brilliance of Paul Pierce, three is the seemingly lack of growth of the two "bigs", Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins. The latter two have to progress if Boston is to even make the playoffs this year. Gerald Green, last year's No. 1 pick, has to be given minutes; he just looks too good when on the floor to spend time on the pine! Delonte West has to stay healthy and Wally Szczerbiak also has to complement Pierce's scoring. Others who could be key for this year include Ryan Gomes, Tony Allen, and the newly acquired, Sebastian Telfair. This is my analysis after watching the first two preseason games; we'll see how it all plays out.