Is this a plausible statement to make?:
The Boston Celtics will repeat as the NBA champions by winning the title in 2008-2009.
The champs have won eleven in a row for the first time since the 1985-1986 season. If that’s not a big indicator for you, perhaps this is: they won their sixteenth title in ’86. As they won number seventeen in 2008, can they win number eighteen in 2009?
Paul Pierce lost weight over the off-season and returned this season in a thinner form (though he’s shooting six percent less compared to the 2007 season). Kevin Garnett installed a soccer field in his backyard over the off-season and worked on his footwork. Ray Allen returned this season by telling reporters, “MJ told me that the first time he won a title he was lucky — he said that I was lucky. I guess we [the Celtics, as a team] have to prove to everybody we don’t belong in the luck echelon.”
The biggest factor for the Celtics this season has been their overall play. Their deep, well-rounded consistencies that took them far into the playoffs last season (evident in the Detroit and Los Angeles series in the end) is playing its part out this year. Glen Davis, Leon Powe, Eddie House, Tony Allen, and hell, even Brian Scalabrine is knocking down some jumpers in games where he’s come in to be a part of the Celtic circulation.
Rajon Rondo has improved his game immensely and incurred his first career triple double a few days ago. He’s coming into his own and has nearly mastered the ability to run the Boston Celtics offense that Doc Rivers has mapped out for him to comprise, instill and emblazon.
How far will the Celtics go? That’s a rather ambiguous question. The answer is even more ambiguous. The Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, etc. stand in their way. The two teams I typed out first would have to be in the Finals, but the three I emitted afterwards are the Celtics’ biggest worries. The Cavs being the first, considering the fact that James Posey is no longer a Celtic (now a member of the New Orleans Hornets) and LeBron James’ new running mate, Mo Williams, is around to tease the Celtics.
It’s only December, but I can’t wait until April for the playoffs to begin and play themselves out. I don’t know about you, but these 82-game regular seasons drive me nuts.