With the preseason over, Celtic fans can look ahead to October 30th,
when our newly reloaded Celtics finally take the floor against the reigning NBA
Champions and Eastern Conference roadblock Miami Heat. Throw all the analysis,
prognosis and speculations out the window: it’s time for some real basketball
What else can we look forward to this upcoming week?
The real start of the basketball season: as I mentioned,
the games will matter now and teams will begin to play at full strength. The
experimental lineups will be scrapped and we will see regular rotations take
the floor. Of course, there is only one rotation that we are most interested
in, and that will be Doc Rivers’. My money is on a
Rondo-Lee-Pierce-Bass-Garnett lineup to begin the season, and hopefully draw
first blood in the battle to beat the Heat.
Jared Sullinger’s ‘real’ pro debut: When we saw
Sully lead the Celtics in the Summer Leagues, we gushed with anticipation. When
he played well with Boston starters in the preseason, we were flooded with
excitement. But the real test comes in Sully’s first NBA regular season game, a
baptism of ‘fire’ on the road against Miami. If he plays anything at all like
we have seen from his first two ‘debuts’, Sully can very well be the steal of the
almost thankful to the NBA for red-flagging him during the draft.
Jeff Green’s triumphant return and tempering of expectations: Jeff Green is a
feel good story, a young swingman with potential to be very good for quite some
time. His preseason was excellent, although one of the things most pleasing
about him is his ideal for self-improvement. James
Worthy-comparisons aside, Celtic fans see Green as either the heir to Paul Pierce after the
Captain hangs ‘em up or an overpaid role player. I think it’s time for
everybody to temper their expectations and just let Green play.
The bench comes out to play: A bench this deep can wreak havoc on
the second units of most NBA teams. Depth has been a key issue for the C’s for
a while now, with loveable scrubs Ryan Hollins (gone to Hollywood) and Greg
Steimsma (guaranteed contract with Minnesota) getting big man playing time with
Mickael Pietrus (funny guy) and Keyon Dooling (retired) in the backcourt. The
dynamic will change drastically this year, with Sixth Man of the year awardees
Jason Terry and Leandro Barbosa (albeit in a smaller capacity) and the
aforementioned youngsters Green and Sullinger, among others.
Kevin Garnett, the anchor: After an offseason in which he kept everybody guessing on his next
move, Kevin Garnett is back. We can thank Danny Ainge for talking him into
three more years of Celtic basketball and while Doc Rivers never really
believed that KG would retire, I for one had to sit through the Game 7 Conference
Finals loss to the Heat wondering if this was the last time I will ever see the
chest pounding, jump-shootin’, chalk-tossin’ KG in the NBA. Thank God he’s
No. 20 sniping against, not for, Celtic green: After five
years of the Big Three, Ray Allen is no more. The offseason stories have been
written, frustrations have been aired on both sides and now the time has come
to play the Heat with Allen in South Beach White. It feels like a betrayal, and
I will leave it up to you if it indeed counts as one, but it is all over and done
with and now it’s time to play some real ball. Less talkin’ more ballin’, I
Stay tuned for our weekly prognosis and summary, including coverage
leading up to opening week.