Going into last season there were doubters everywhere, in spite of the Celtics being favored to win it all. The Celtics should once again be favorites to win it all this season, but the doubters have already started to question this team and their ability to repeat.
Athlon Sports picks the Hornets to win the championship. Apparently, they feel that James Posey is the piece that will tip the scales since the major move by both teams involved Posey with the Celtics losing him and the Hornets picking him up. A few others have followed their lead, picking either the Lakers or Hornets to win the title and some even have the Celtics losing the Atlantic to Philly and the East to various contenders.
Before last season, there were a lot of doubters questioning the Celtics bench and depth. They had no one to back up Rondo. House wasn't a point guard. They were weak at back up center. Their bench was full of young and unproven talent in Tony Allen, Leon Powe, Big Baby, and Gabe Pruitt. But, when it came time to produce, each player knew their role and filled it to perfection. Eddie House proved to be a solid back up to Rondo. The young players all came through when called on.
And speaking of the center and point guard positions, there were plenty of so called experts who didn't give Rondo or Perk a chance at being championship caliber players. Some even have said that they were backups on a good team at best. Rondo proved very capable of leading a team with 3 superstars to a championship and Perk proved to be a very solid starting center on a championship team. And, the exciting thing for Celtics fans is that they are still very young and will be even better this season. But that doesn't stop some so called experts from doubting them again.
Then there were the assorted doubts like the Celtics 3 stars were too old. They had 9 new players and couldn't develop chemistry quickly enough. The stars would never mesh because each was used to being the focus on the team and one basketball wouldn't be enough. And it went on and on. And let's not forget the ESPN "Experts" predictions going into the finals where only 1 chose the Celtics to win. They were even doubted going into the finals. One by one, the Celtics answered every doubt and every question.
Now, going into this season we are hearing the same old doubts and questions. The stars are too old. The bench is too weak. The bench is too young. They can't sustain that defensive intensity two seasons in a row. The rest of the league has improved while the Celtics have regressed. The loss of James Posey will be too big to overcome. I have read all these opinions in the past few days. The Celtics have stated their intent to repeat and will once again have to fight all the doubters as they seek to do so. Last season they were motivated to win the first Celtics championship after 22 years of futility. This season, they are motivated to become the first Celtics team to repeat since 1968-69. It will be fun watching them answer the questions and reaching their goal once again. I for one have no doubt that they will.