The best news of the day is that Tony Allen is hoping to be back for the preseason and all indications are that he should be ready for the regular season. He still lacks his explosiveness and hopefully that will come back because without it, he isn't going to be effective. A healthy Tony Allen will be a difference maker though.
Portland feels a bit cursed now and you can't help but feel for them. It has seemed that way for the Celtics for a long, long time now, since the death of Len Bias back in 1986. It seemed as though our luck was still all bad when we lost out on the first pick but looking back on it, that may be when the Celtics luck turned around.
Hoopsworld has a two part story on the Bubble teams and whether they have improved enough to make a difference. Here is what Jessica Camerato had to say in Part 1 about the Celtics. Part 2 can be found here.
BOSTON: Did the Celtics do enough? What didn’t the Celtics do? If acquiring Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen doesn‘t make them a contender, there’s just no helping the Cs. When the Celtics traded away the much-hyped fifth pick for one of the best shooters in the league, their competition took notice -- “I wish Ray Allen wasn’t playing in the Eastern Conference, that’s for sure,” said one Atlantic Division coach. Little did they know that was just the tip of the iceberg. The Kevin Garnett blockbuster deal shook up the entire league. Not only did the Celtics become an Eastern Conference favorite, they transformed themselves into one of the most formidable threats in the NBA. The Cs then spent the summer surrounding their All Star core with veteran support, from the championship-winning James Posey to role players Eddie House and Scot Pollard. They also went after eager young talent and signed three coachable rookies -- Gabe Pruitt, Glen Davis, and Brandon Wallace. While many expected the Celtics to ink a veteran point guard, Danny Ainge proved his faith in the 21 year old Rajon Rondo by leaving him at the helm in just his second NBA season. The Celtics proved their commitment to a winning and, piece by piece, built a championship contender in this off season.
Always fun is watching the circus that is the Knicks. The Herald discusses Isaiah's trial somewhat and the NY Daily News tells us that Stern could go after Dolan over this whole thing also.
Shamrock Headband has a good article on the turn of events that Celtics fans have seen this summer.
Now let's allow ourselves to think, for a moment, of what happens if the Celtics win the 2007 Lottery and draft Greg Oden (and let's face it, there's no way they were ever planning on doing anything else). For three and a half months the city of Boston is abuzz: billboards pop up, jerseys fly off the shelves, Oden throws out the first pitch at Fenway to a standing ovation, etc., etc. Let's go even further and suggest that Paul Pierce, seeing that the C's truly are going in a new direction, quietly steps up his trade demand, and management acquiesces, dealing him to a contender for a couple of youngsters and a choice draft pick or two. Boston barely notices, content to move forward with a front line of Oden and Big Al that will be unmatched in the NBA for years to come. Then, on September 13, the team announces that Greg Oden will miss the entire 2007-08 season, and on top of that, might never again be the same player who hung 25 and 12 on Florida and damn near singlehandedly won a National Championship for his otherwise woefully overmatched team. That Greg Oden, all of a sudden, is not walking through that door, folks, at least not for another year or few. All of a sudden the 2007-08 Celtics are the 2006-07 Celtics, only somehow even worse.
And... scene. Take a breath. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce are still in Boston, and for the first time in twenty years the Celtics are the luckiest team in the NBA. What a world.
I just can't imagine how we would feel if we had gotten Oden only to see him lost for the season. But if he returns from the surgery as many have done, there is a silver lining for the Blazers. They should get a high draft pick again this season, they will have Raef's expiring contract to bring in someone good and Oden will be healthy manning the middle.
Fox Sports lists several players who are on the hot seat this season. Interestingly, they include Kevin Garnett on the list but not Pierce or Allen. I would have to say that especially Pierce is on the hot seat just as much as KG since he is the one who has been saying all along that he is a great player on a bad team. Pierce as much as anyone has to come through this season. Here is what they said about KG.
Kevin Garnett — Boston For years, KG has been posting remarkable numbers for mostly mediocre teams. The constant complaint from Garnett's supporters is that while he's one of the very best players in the league the T-Wolves' management failed to surround him with enough talent for the team to succeed. With the trade to Boston, however, there are no more excuses. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are two of the best "supporting" players imaginable. After a career chock full of inadequate performances in postseason money games, it's up to the Big Ticket to demonstrate his true greatness by having an MVP-type season and leading the Celtics to at least the championship series. Anything less will prove that KG is more of a super-loser than a bona-fide superstar.
Finally, be sure to check out Celtics Stuff Live tonight from 7-9 as Jeff Clark of Celitics Blog fame will be their special guest for the first hour. There is always a lot going on in the pit also, so see you there. Only 16 days till training camp starts so there is lots to talk about.