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.
After waiting what seemed like an eternity we finally have real Celtics news to talk about and real video to watch of the team we have anticipated all summer. KG was quotable as always
"Well we have continuity," said Garnett. "Obviously, you've got to keep it continuous and stay consistent with it. But, for the most part, we're hanging out, we're being social. Turkey will probably amplify that, because we don't know anybody over there. Other than that, it's a lot of new guys and Doc's changing up the system a little bit, so it's a lot of new stuff, so I can't get a read on it. Give me a couple of days and I can give you a fair assessment. But right now, we're all trying to get this new system, we're all trying to figure each other out.
"I will say this, though. And this is totally off the record -- well, not off or on the record, but -- yesterday we had a [team] dinner that we were driving to and we've never followed each other, none of that. Obviously, the new guys learning the city and stuff. And the way we were driving in formation, this guy getting over, letting him in, blinkers -- it was all cohesive. So, I'm going to chalk that up, that's like solid chemistry for me being able to follow you or driving or anything like that. That was some good driving continuity, so I'm going to chalk that up as some team chemistry in there somewhere, you know? It's like gumbo. I'm throwing everything in there. I got driving, I got social, I got Turkey and Milan, so, yeah, we'll see how this tastes at the end of the day."
The inside of KG's mind is a scary place to be. Gumbo, huh?
Made it through first day of practice We r gonna b scary good
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) September 29, 2012
Paul Pierce posted this tweet after practice. I think I agree with him. If the Celtics can stay healthy, they are going to be scary for other teams to face. They are deep. They are talented. They are young. They are experienced. They are athletic. They have size and they have speed and they have great chemistry already.
Think about this one. If the Celtics stay healthy, they could have the MVP in Rondo, the Defensive Player of the Year in KG and the Sixth Man of the Year in Jason Terry.
Today was the first day of training camp and reports are filtering out from the Celtics' first practice. Above is a video from practice courtesy of Chris Forsberg showing Courtney Lee blocking a Jason Terry shot. I can see that practices are going to be so competitive that they will look forward to games for a break. Here are a few comments from the media session after practice.
Celtics captain Paul Pierce on 5/5/5 minutes possibility: that's up to Doc. I'm giving myself to the team this year. But if I'm lighting it up in the first 5 minutes, Doc's not taking me out.
Paul Pierce just said it again: "[Kevin Garnett] and I are probably going to retire together."
Celtics captain Paul Pierce: nice to come into a camp feeling good, in condition after last year.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers: Jeff Green showed last year he really wanted to be here. He had other suitors and didn't listen to them.
I think that frustrated his agent (David Falk) that Jeff Green wouldn't even listen to offers from other teams.
Jeff Green looked great. He was one of the better-conditioned guys out there.
Injured #Celtics guard Avery Bradley is hanging out at practice in shorts, T-shirt despite not being able to participate.
Kevin Garnett in Jeff Green's ear with some advice to end practice.
Rajon Rondo wants to limit turnovers, get to the line more often this season.
Other than rookies, Jeff Green is lone #Celtics player on the floor shooting 30 minutes after practice.
De facto big man coach Kevin Garnett tutoring rookie Fab Melo on baseline as second unit runs skeleton offense.
Courtney Lee with starters; Darko running with second unit that currently includes Terry, Smith, Joseph and Green. Avery Bradley watching.
Terry said that both he & Lucky had goosebumps waiting for the first official practice of the season
I like what I heard from Darko. Sounds like he has matured and that he's ready to play a role on the team.
“I talked with Doc (Rivers) on the phone and he said there is not anybody here who has the weight of the team on his shoulders,” Milicic said yesterday. “This is a team. It’s not about one guy.”
"All I’m looking for now is to be the best I can be. It’s not about me being the second pick; it’s about me being the best I can be. I had some chances, and that was my fault, too. But we all make some mistakes. I didn’t take some things serious that I should have. But I’m here now. Let’s make the best of it.”
“I’m going to do whatever it takes. It’s not about me anymore. It’s a great opportunity for me. Doc’s going to put me where I fit the best.”
This may be one of Danny's biggest signings if Doc can finally get the talent that is clearly there out of him. It's not like he's over the hill and looking for one last shot (cough cough Rasheed Wallace) He's still 27 years old. It sounds as though in the past, because of that 2nd pick thing he was expected to be a lot more than he was ready for. On the Celtics, he will finally get to be a part of a team, play a role, and get to play to his strengths. I'm liking this signing more and more.
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He wanted to go to Vegas instead of LA but KG and Pierce were already out in LA so he planned it for out there.
KG is his closest friend on the team. He's lost two good friends on the team in Perk and Keyon Dooling and so I'm glad he has a close relationship with KG.
He said that KG always pushed him to do his best and is like a big brother/mentor to him. They share a lot of interests off the court as well. KG has helped him learn how to take care of his body for longevity in the league (KG is entering his 18th season.
After the last game in Miami, he sat with KG on the bus and asked him what he was going to do. Rondo told KG he wanted him back but realized that KG had to do what was best for himself. He was thrilled when he heard that KG was coming back.
[Discuss on CG Forums!]
Yes, the Celtics are back. KG above at the podium was KG. He said that Doc was his number one reason for returning. When asked about Ray he had this to say, "I don't have Ray's number anymore. I'm not trying to communicate. I'm just being honest." He did say that he wishes Ray the best. I compare this to Perk who says that he and KG talk all the time. KG also says that he sees a lot of parallels between this year and the championship season.
Pretty much every player mentioned Jason Terry as the new player they are most excited to have on the team. Jason described Rondo as a unique player. He said that they have been in Boston since September 4 and have been working together and building chemistry. He said that all he has to do with Rondo is to run the lanes and he'll find him. His goal for the season is to continue to get better and help to strengthen the bench. He mentioned one game last season where the Celtics bench scored just 2 points and he wants to give them more scoring off the bench. Someone brought up Ray Allen to which JT replied "Who?" He then stressed that he and Ray are two very different players. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
Celtics Media Day is underway. I'll be updating this post through the day with photos and updates I get from the media there. Celtics.com is streaming their interviews live. They have already interviewed Jeff Green and are talking to Jason Terry who loves Boston and can't wait to put the Jet on the runway and fly off
.He said that when they played together in practice, the first couple bounce passes went out of bounds but on the next ones he drained a jumper. An underrated part of his game is his ability to penetrate and get his teammates involved. His prediction for this season is Banner 18.
IT'S MEDIA DAY!!! Even though I won't be at Media day events I'll do my best to relay any news and notable quotes or photos that I can glean from Twitter and from those attending. And since it's media day, that means that training camp starts tomorrow. It's just one week until we get to watch this season's Celtics take the court for the first time this season. I'm excited, how about you?
The players have already been bonding with a week together in LA. Chris Forsberg reports that the chemistry among his new teammates has impressed him.
"That was fun. We had great team bonding," Sullinger said prior to taking a duck boat tour of Boston on Thursday. "Everybody went out. Everybody had fun, played ball. We never saw nobody go one-on-one. Everybody all went as a group. So, we just developed team chemistry."
Yesterday, a group of the new players along with Jeff Green and a group of Read to Achieve kids took a duck boat tour. We remember that the 2007-08 championship season also started with a duck boat tour, maybe a little different but it was a tour. The team is going to Europe for training camp just as they did back in 07-08. Things are starting off great for this team, just as they did for the 07-08 team. I'm expecting the same result.
As we look forward to today's Media Day, let's look back to 2007 Media Day. Good times!
One note from ref camp: NBA is close to finalizing policy on flopping. Will not carry in-game penalty. Will be reviewed after. Poss fine.
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeckNYT) September 27, 2012
Well, that's interesting. The refs are close to a policy on flopping. So, they aren't going to call it in games but plan to review all the games after the fact and possibly fine players for flopping. That's going to be interesting. I have to wonder if the policy will be applied to every player equally or if the King of Flops (aka LeBron) will continue to get special treatment.
Remember we reported that the league has hired a new head of referee operations Mike Bantom to replace General Ron Johnson, who had been hired in the wake of the ref betting scandal. He's going to try to change the perception that the refs are incompetent and have integrity problems.
"I think one of the things that I'd just like to focus on is I think there's a perception out there that kind of throws into question sometimes the competence of our officials and even the integrity of them at times, and I think that that's not true to begin with and unfair, and I want to try and change that perception," said Bantom, who had been the league's senior vice president of player development since 1999.
They've earned that reputation by their incompetence and lack of integrity. As long as Bennett Salvatore, Dick Bavetta, Joey Crawford, and Marc Davis are on the crew, there will always be questions about the integrity of the officiating. Just go to YouTube and you'll find all the evidence you need to back that up. I wish him luck in changing that perception and hopefully the refs will show more integrity and competence this season than they have in the past.
Remember the story about how in 2007, the day before the Celtics were scheduled to head to Rome for training camp, Doc called new teammates Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce and told them to be at his apartment at 8am the next morning. He wanted them to start thinking about a parade in June and he figured that a duck boat tour would be the best way to do that. As the tour guide took the four of them through Boston's historic streets and the Charles River, it slowly began to sink in that this wasn't just an ordinary ride. Doc took his players through the same Championship parade route used by the Red Sox and Patriots, and preached to them about the sacrifices it would take for them to follow suit. This would be motivation that would stay with the 3 stars throughout that championship season.
Well, here we are again. Today Jeff Green, Jason Terry, Dionte Christmas, Jared Sullinger and Kris Joseph, along with some kids took the duck boat tour. Jason Terry acted as the tour guide, which is pretty funny because he's just as new to Boston as the rest of them. But, if there's leading to be done, Jet is going to do it. They tweeted photos of their trip as it went along.
Jessica Camerato has an incredible article on Keyon Dooling over on CSNNE.com. In the article, he discusses very candidly why he left the game, his teammates on the Celtics, and his plans for after basketball. Reading it will give you a whole new respect for Keyon Dooling as a player and as a person.
Keyon's decision to retire wasn't as sudden as it seemed to fans and has been something he has been considering for some time. In the article, he is very candid about his reasons for leaving the game. Over his 12 year career, he has been a confident, a leader and a friend to many players in the league both as a teammate and as the vice president of the Players Association. He has taken on everyone's problems and been a shoulder to lean on for everyone else but has kept his own feelings and problems deep inside.
After re-signing with the Celtics, even though he loves his teammates and the organization, and he feels that they have a good chance to win it all, he realized that he just doesn't want to play any more. As he came to that realization, years of repressed emotions came rushing back to him and memories that he had tried to bury came flooding back. He had a meltdown and had to get professional help.
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Back in the early days of the Celtics, Red Auerbach would light up a cigar on the bench whenever he felt like the Boston Celtics had assured themselves of another victory. He had been doing it for years, humiliating and angering the other teams in the league. Nobody had ever come back to win once the cigar had been lit. Only once had that record come close to being broken.
In Red's final season, 1965-66, the Celtics had taken a 3-games-to-1 lead in the series. The Celtics' eighth straight championship seemed inevitable. Then the Lakers won games 5 and 6 but there was a game 7 in the Garden. No one had ever beaten the Celtics in a Game 7 in Boston. Game 7 started out with the Celtics jumping out to a big lead as the Lakers' stars struggled. But then the Lakers started coming back.
With the Celtics up by 6 with 20 seconds left, Red lit his last victory cigar, feeling fairly certain his team would hang on and win their eighth straight title. But the Lakers weren't done, and they cut the lead to just 2 with 4 seconds to play. For the first time, Red's victory cigar was in jeopardy of being premature. Then, with 4 seconds still to go, the Celtics fans rushed the floor, thinking the championship was over. After all, Red had lit his victory cigar. Bill Russell was knocked to the ground, an orange juice bucket on the Celtics bench was knocked over, and officials had to scramble to clear the floor so that the teams could play out the final 4 seconds of the game.
I was reading a story this morning about Artis Gilmore from Michael Mclellan's book Boston Celtics Where Have You Gone? Gilmore came to the Celtics after 5 years in the ABA, 7 years with the Bulls, and 5 years with the Spurs. Even though he played just 47 games with the Celtics in 1988, Gilmore remembers his time in Boston very fondly. He had this to say about the organization:
It was truly a professional organization. Today, many of the other organizations are similar in the way they treat the athlete, but that wasn't always the case. The level of professionalism wasn't the same; and the other franchises have had to play catch-up. Something as simple as uniforms is a prime example; the Celtics always made sure that the uniforms were clean and ready for the players, whereas this task was the player's responsibility everywhere else that I played. That has changed now. All NBA franchises take care of the uniforms.
Times have changed since then and athletes are pretty much pampered and catered to by their franchises, but we still hear players who come from other franchises talk about how the Celtics are a first class organization and how different they are from other teams out there. We often hear the word "family" mentioned when discussing the Celtics. Another word we hear is "brotherhood." The Celtics have always been about bonding and family. That has never changed.
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Former Celtics beat writer and current Yahoo columnist Marc Spears has a great piece on the Celtics' pre-camp camp that Rondo organized out in LA. Rondo was criticized early in the off-season when reports came out that Ray Allen was leaving because, among other things, he and Rondo didn't get along. Rondo addressed those rumors and rightfully concludes that Ray had his reasons for leaving, but it wasn't his fault.
"People act like because me and Ray didn't get along or they think me and Ray didn't get along that I'm a bad person or he's a bad person," Rondo said. "No. It's just life. If you look at your job, everyone doesn't always get along with every co-worker they work with. It's just part of life. People are blowing the Ray thing out of proportion. We had some words, but other than that it was no big deal.
"There were so many rumors like I was looking Ray off. Why would I look Ray off? That doesn't make sense. He's the best shooter, so why would I look him off? People can see it how they want to. They can talk to Ray. But from my standpoint, he made his decision. I don't know why he made the decision, but he made the decision. I don't think it had anything to do with me."
And, we have found out since that Ray was unhappy with his role on the team, with having to come off the bench, with KG, with not getting to run pick and rolls, with not being the first priority in signing contracts this offseason, with being offered in trade talks, and probably with the food in Boston and who knows what else. He just wasn't a happy person in Boston and Rondo is right, it didn't have anything to do with him. It was Ray, pure and simple. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
I have written much about how important chemistry is for a team. With 8 new players on the league, chemistry is a question on this team. How will the pieces fit together?
The young guys including Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo, Kris Joseph, Jamar Smith, and Deonte Christmas have been working out together all summer and have formed a bond between them. One of those players won't make the team and even though they have become close, the competition for the two open spots on the roster will be fierce.
Working out with the young guns has been an assortment of veterans from time to time, including Chris Wilcox, Jeff Green, Rajon Rondo, and Jason Terry, all of whom have taken it upon themselves to take the young guys under their wings and mentor them. We've heard much already about Jason Terry's dedication to helping Deonte Christmas succeed with the Celtics. These workouts can only cement the chemistry on the team.
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Today, Jordan Brand, a division of NIKE, Inc., announced the signing of four new basketball athletes. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kendall Marshall, Jared Sullinger and Jeff Taylor have all joined the Jordan family with multi-year endorsement deals.
“We are thrilled to add these four great athletes to the Jordan family,” said Michael Jordan. “We feel like the work ethic and commitment to excellence that each of these young men personify is a perfect fit for what we stand for. We are looking forward to what they can accomplish on the court and in their respective communities.”
Jared Sullinger (6-9, 265) was the 21st pick overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2012 NBA Draft. Sullinger heads to Boston after a standout career at The Ohio State University where he averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds over two seasons. The two-time consensus All-American was also named the NCAA tournament’s East Regional Most Outstanding Player after averaging 21.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in five NCAA Tournament games. A member of the 2010 Jordan Brand Classic East Team, Sullinger averaged 24.5 points and 11.7 rebounds as a senior at Northland high School.
Great endorsement by Michael Jordan for Jared, who is also represented by Jordan's long time agent, David Falk. Jared represents the Celtics very well and I'm sure he'll also be a great representative for Jordan Brand.
Rondo, who is ranked #12 on the ESPN Player Rankings, is the highest ranked Celtic on this list. With Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams all yet to be ranked, that would make Rondo the 5th best point guard in the league. He has moved up from #17 to #12 since last season. I expect another jump this season in both overall ranking and in Point guard rankings. Some Celtics fans feel that he is ranked too low. I personally would rather see them rank him lower because we all know how things like this fires him up. I expect him to be on a mission this season.
Some of the Celtics participated in a golf tournament today and as
always, the Celtics media is right there and tweeting some great quotes
from players, coach and GM. I just love Jason Terry's attitude. He's
definitely quickly becoming a favorite. Gotta love anyone who's ready
to kill Heat and Lakers before their first game. We get confirmation
that KG will stay at center. Kris Joseph is impressing. Don't look for
another guard before training camp. And Doc loves his back court. I'm so excited for this season I can hardly stand it!!!
Jason Terry at today's golf tournament: "My mission is to kill, whether it's the Heat, whether it's the Lakers. Hopefully both."
— Gary Dzen (@GlobeGaryDzen) September 25, 2012
Twin Cities Business reports that the reason Darko was amnestied was because their coach, Rick Adelman wanted him gone. According to the report, with Adelman at the helm, they have gone from building slowly under Kurt Rambis to trying to build more quickly with Adelman.
But most of the Wolves-related headlines concerned Kahn’s persistent attempts to upgrade the talent on the roster. Behind the scenes, as promised, Adelman was providing input and helping with the decisions.
“Most of the moves David is making are heavily influenced by what Rick has asked of us. But when it comes to finances, David will tell Rick no,” Taylor reveals. “At the end of the year, Rick gives me a report of what he thinks of each player. He tells me it’s the same one he gave David and that David knows he is giving it to me. Then he goes through the list. He says, ‘This is the first one I want gone’—that was [underachieving veteran center] Darko [Milicic]. ‘This is the second one I want gone. This is what I think of this player.’
“We were going to build slowly with a young coach [Rambis] and young players. It was a good plan, but there was a misstep. Now we have a seasoned coach who has said ‘This is my last job.’ He is going to push faster because he wants to win sooner. But his [style of communication] is one I understand and can relate to.”
In this process, they have essentially swapped back up centers with the Celtics. They amnestied Darko, who the Celtics just signed to a vet minimum contract and then they signed former Celtics center Greg Stiemsma. The Celtics made a qualifying offer to Stiemsma but were outbid for his services by the Wolves. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
We are about to start another season and Celtics fans everywhere will be happy to get to watch Mike and Tommy broadcast the games again. When you mention Tommy Heinsohn to the majority of Celtics fans, they will talk about Tommy the broadcaster or Tommy the player. But Tommy's true genius was seen in his coaching career.
Tommy was coach of the Celtics from 1969 until 1978. He took over the reins upon the retirement of Bill Russell. He had big shoes to fill following Red Auerbach and Bill Russell as coach. And the team he took over just lost the player who had been its heart and soul for 13 seasons and who had won 11 titles in those 13 seasons, including 8 in a row. The team would need rebuilding under the first time coach.
The resurrection of the Celtics in the early to mid seventies ranks as one of the most successful coaching jobs in league history. His first season was a losing one, that could be discounted as a rebuilding year, after all, they had just lost their coach and long time star along with Sam Jones, who retired the same year and KC Jones retired the year before. After that the Celtics had 2 more seasons without a playoff appearance and by his fourth season on the bench, Celtics were again division champions. In his fifth season as coach, the Celtics were once again World Champions. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
As always, leave it to Jackie MacMullan to get the scoop on all things basketball, especially Celtics basketball. An article posted on ESPN Boston answers a few questions we have discussed along with a few others we didn't even know about.
First up, I was concerned about Rondo's work ethic this summer and Jackie put's this to rest completely with this quote from Doc Rivers:
"Rondo has been great, just terrific this summer," Rivers said. "He reached out to all the players and got every single one of them to fly to L.A. and practice together. They put in about four or five hours a day. Paul and KG were already out there, but Rondo got Jason and Courtney Lee and all the other guys on board too.
"He called and asked me what I thought of the idea. I loved it, especially because it was him that organized it."
The spirited practices at UCLA were useful not only because of all the new faces. They gave the players a chance to spend some time together away from Boston and reestablish some camaraderie.
Once again, CelticsBlog is organizing the blogger previews and first up are the Celtics (of course). Over the next few weeks, we'll be carrying links to the other blogs who are also previewing their teams' seasons so be sure to check them all out.
Team Name: Boston Celtics Last Year's Record: 39-27 Key Losses: Ray Allen, Greg Stiemsma, Keyon Dooling Key Additions: Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, Jeff Green, Chris Wilcox, Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo, Darko Milicic,
1. What Significant Moves were made during the off-season?
The most significant change will be swapping Ray Allen for Jason Terry and Courtney Lee. In doing so, the Celtics got younger and more athletic. Both Terry and Lee can create their own shots, which will eliminate the need for multiple screens on every shot to get them open. Both are clutch shooters and shoot very well from beyond the arc so they lose very little in that sense.(Terry 38%, Lee 40%) The biggest upgrade, however, will be on the defensive end where both Lee and Terry are good defenders and Ray had become a defensive liability. And Jason Terry brings a level of confidence and bluster that is needed to win a championship along with a new tattoo of Lucky holding the Championship trophy.
Also, bringing back KG, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox will give the team a measure of continuity and a solid core to add the new players into.
If there's one thing that most Celtics fans agree on, it's that Rajon Rondo is the most important player on this team and that he'd be the one player that would be the hardest to replace should he go down with an injury. I thought that this would be a good time to take a look at where we stand with depth at our point guard position.
The Celtics lost a veteran presence last week when Keyon Dooling retired. I mentioned after the news came out that Dooling had been waived that Derek Fisher would fill the need for a veteran on the bench who could command the repect of vets and rookies alike. The Globe today mentioned the same thing.
It’s late September and Derek Fisher remains a free agent. Fisher wants to return for a 17th season, but the demand may not be there. He could be a consideration for the Celtics, given his leadership capabilities and positive influence last season during Oklahoma City’s run to the Finals . . .
With Dooling's departure, the Celtics now have 2 spots open and I'm fairly certain that one of those spots will be taken by Dionte Christmas. Christmas proved in Summer League, especially after E'Twaun Moore was traded, that he can run the offense on the team. He's got experience from 3 years in Europe, playing very well there. I think he can not only make the roster, but also the rotation if a back up point guard would be needed. Read more » Leave a comment Link backs Tweet
This is a post by Derrenmatts from over on Celtics Green forums. I wanted to share it here because it's a great post and maybe it will entice you to come over to the CG forums and join in the discussion. Here's Derren's post. ---------------------------------------------------------------
I'm not going to look over out West at the Lakers, or the
Thunder, or whoever else might emerge from that conference. I'm
squaring my eyes on our Eastern conference and looking right at the
Heat. They are the early favorites to win the 2013 NBA championship.
had a good offseason and improved their roster -- but so did we. Ainge
somehow worked his magic to keep the core of Garnett, Pierce, and Rajon
together, and surround them with good veteran talent, as well as young
pieces who can make an impact sooner or later.