I’ve been quiet about Boston sports since the debacle in Glendale in February. Actually, I’m still recovering from the deep wounds and emotional trauma that game left in me. Leave it to Boston’s professional sporting dominance, though, to lift my spirits. In the last year, the Red Sox won the World Series, the Revolution played for the MLS Cup (losing to Houston), the Patriots went 16-0 in the regular season, even the Bruins are in the NHL playoffs. Now the Celtics have completed a 66-15 season – well ahead of any other team in the NBA. Ahhh, it’s good to be a Boston sports fan.
The Celtics’ record gives them home court advantage for all playoff series’ and provides momentum in their attempt for a 17th NBA championship. Not bad for a team that went 24-58 last year.
Anyone who pays attention to basketball knows the reason for the drastic year-over-year change. The team moved away from it’s strategy of surrounding a single all-star player (Paul Pierce) with a group of young, aggressive players, to one of leading with a group of experienced players augmented by a handful of select newbies – mostly off the bench. In the off-season last year, the Celtics traded away many of their young players in order to acquire Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. Two of the most talented players in the game. With Pierce, the troika represented a scary force on the floor against any opponent.
Many nay-sayers believed that egos and established playing styles would prevent three great players from working together on one court. The combination of Doc Rivers’ (the Celtics coach) coaching and/or the overriding desire of the three big men to win has dispatched that concern in all but the harshest critics. The results speak for themselves, of course.
I don’t know how the playoffs are going to go down, but the Celtics are looking very strong. The big men have been resting for a couple of weeks now since few of the games were critical and the three seem to be eager to show the world that they can bring the Celtics’ 17th championship home to Bean Town. I do know that the team is a blast to watch and the NBA playoffs are going to be fun again for Boston fans.