The Boston Celtics are the greatest franchise in the history of The Association. Bar none. Take a gander at this list of former Celtics players who are now enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
- Bill Russel
- Bob Cousey
- Frank Ramsey
- John Havlicek
- Sam Jones
- Larry Bird
- Kevin McHale
- Robert Parrish
The list reads like a who’s who of the greatest players ever in the history of the game of basketball.
Despite falling on hard times earlier in the decade, the Celtics have returned to their characteristic Championship form. Aided by General Manager Danny Ainge’s penchant for blockbuster deals, the Celtics nearly swapped their entire roster for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, who teamed with Paul Pierce to bring the 2008 NBA Championship back to Boston.
Entering 2009 with the dubious title of defending champions, the Celtics held their own during the regular season, finishing with a 62-20 record despite losing Kevin Garnett for much of the season’s final stretch. The injury to Garnett was too much for the C’s to overcome, and the defending champs bowed out of the postseason with a loss to Orlando in the Eastern Conference semifinals. It was evident that the Celtics were not in championship form and were missing Garnett when the upstart Bulls pushed them to seven games in the first round of the playoffs.
Now that Garnett has fully recovered from knee surgery, and with the addition of Rasheed Wallace, the Celtics look to be back at full strength.
In addition to Wallace, the Celtics also acquired forward Shelden Williams and guard Marquis Daniels during the Eastern Conference arms-race that was the 2009 offseason. Williams, a former first-round pick, was acquired to make up for the loss of versatile forward Leon Powe to the Cavs.
The starting line-up for Boston mirrors last season; Rajon Rondo-PG, Ray Allen-SG, Paul Pierce-SF, Kevin Garnett-PF, Kendrick Perkins-C.
Offseason rumors have swirled around Rajon Rondo and his negative attitude. Maturity is the only thing keeping the former Kentucky star from superstardom. Considering his Oscar Robertson-like numbers in the playoffs last year, he could lead the team in scoring.
Age is also a big issue in Bean Town; Pierce, Garnett, Allen, and Wallace are all aging players. How much gas do they have left in the tank? The addition of Wallace will help increase the Longevity of Kevin Garnett given that Rasheed is a more than capable back-up. However, the addition of Rasheed will likely lead to a decrease in court-time for Glen Davis, who held his own as Garnett’s replacement.
The Celtics, give their depth, are all but assured a 60-win season. It seems unlikely, considering the Celtics were 41-9 when Garnett went down the first time that they would win less than 60 games this season. A top-three seed in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics will, barring any major injuries, probably advance to the conference finals, and no one will betting against this team in the NBA Finals.
Oh yeah, no one is betting against this guy in the NBA Finals either.