Saturday, October 27, 2007

Celtics' Big 3 Reasons for Success

Last night's exhibition victory by the Celtics looked impressive over the defending Eastern Conference champs, the Cleveland Cavaliers. It could be a sign of things to come all season long for the best teams in the NBA as they face this new contender. Many have called the Celtics this year's team to beat, and they are certainly looking that way. The Celtics were all business as the season kicks off in just a few days from now. Barring any serious injury, the Celtics have all the ingredients to bring Boston back to championship form.

Here's the "Big 3" reasons why:

1) Ray Allen - It's funny how the talk of the town changes. When Ray Allen was dealt to Boston and they gave up their draft pick, there were more than a few "outraged" fans. People criticized the move by Danny Ainge, saying Ray has bad ankles, was too old and was not what the Celtics needed for building towards the playoffs. However you first add Ray to Pierce, and then add in the mega-factor of KG, and talk changes. Now Ray is considered a great addition to the team. Well, he was before. Allen can flat out shoot and score, being called one of the purest shooters in the league next to Michael Redd. Allen set a new single season record for three pointers made in 2006-07.

2006-07 stats: 26,4 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.5 SPG

2) Paul Pierce - The Celtics have been Pierce's squad for years now. Even with KG in town, you'd have to believe it's still considered Pierce's bunch, but now he doesn't need to shoulder the load. A stress-free Pierce will now be able to produce perfectly as he can "fall back" upon performances from Ray Allen and KG. Basically the Celtics have at least 3 deadly weapons in their arsenal now, lead by this guy, who puts up stats in several categories. The desire Pierce has had to bring the Celtics back to glory along with his ability to produce great numbers, is only going to make this team stronger and scarier to face.

2006-07 stats: 25.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.0 SPG

3) Kevin Garnett - The Big Ticket now resides in Boston, which is becoming a mecca of great sports this year. The Red Sox are 2 wins away from another World Series claimed. The Patriots are 7-0 and looking unstoppable. The Bruins are not mentioned here, but the Celtics can be again. Kevin Garnett is the kind of guy any team wants, a franchise player. Since Pierce was their franchise player, they now have 1 more than most teams have. KG has a hunger and intensity to play basketball that not many others seem to these days. A near 20 point victory last night in preseason action was fueled by KG who notched a triple double. Taking a look at the guy's stats below you see just how valuable he is to any team, as he does everything but sell popcorn to the fans. Last night, KG kept playing and playing and playing too, almost refusing to come off the court with the Celtics in control in the 4th. Definitely the type of guy you want on your squad, capable of rebounding, scoring, defending and dishing the ball. Most importantly KG has been seriously hungry for a team capable of winning it all and now he has it.

2006-07 stats: 22.4 PPG, 12.8 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.7 BPG

The Big 3 say they don't even want that nickname yet, because they really haven't done anything so big. However, it doesn't take a rocket scientist NBA fan to see how strong this team will be in competition this year. You look at the cumulative stats of these guys above, and most NBA teams would take just 1 of those guys on their team these days. Anything less than the Finals seems to be a letdown. And the Celtics do have a bench as well, which looked very good last night lead by guys like Leon Powe, Eddie House and James Posey. With House and Posey able to hit outside jumpers, you'd have to think the Celtics could be a top scoring team this year. The major weakness many analysts cited was a lack of depth, but they do have a decent amount to help out when one of the Big 3 can't. It's tough to call these guys the NBA champs right now, but watch out NBA teams, the Big 3 are coming to a court near you this season.

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At 11/18/2007 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Celtics could be pretty much unstopable.


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