One thing the Celtics may have on their side this season is motivation. Going into the season, they are being questioned and doubted by many. The Heat, their main targets are still the darlings of the league. The ESPN rankings came out and the Heat start out at #1, Thunder are #2, and Lakers are #3 in spite of their age and weak bench. And if that isn't bad enough, the Spurs and Clippers are also ranked above the Celtics.
The Celtics are deep. They have a great mix of youth and experience. They came within one game of the Finals last year even though they were plagued with injuries. They have added shooters, size, and depth. Yet, they are getting no respect. That is motivation.
The first game of the season is against the Heat. Guess what the Heat will be doing while the Celtics wait to take the court. They will be raising a banner and getting championship rings. The Heat have spent the summer celebrating. They don't have the hunger they had last year. That's one of the reasons that many teams don't repeat. They hunger is satiated to a point and they let up just a little, and that's enough to give a team that's just a little hungrier to sneak in and beat them.
That brings me to the Celtics. They are going to be hungry. They've been to the top and they came so close last year. There are veterans who know that this is their best chance to win it all. There are young, hungry players who want to make their marks along side of the veterans. Just standing there watching the Heat get their rings is going to set a fire under them that only winning the championship will put out. They are going to be motivated to show Ray Allen he made the wrong decision. That's big motivation in itself.
The Celtics will have the blank banner on the wall and will look at it every day next to the banners with all the championships listed. They will be motivated looking at the banners in the rafters every day. They will be motivated when they think about how close they came last season. They will be motivated when the cheers of the Heat fans as the rings are given out echo in their heads. There will be no shortage of motivation for the Celtics and that may just give them the edge they need to win it all this season.
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