Rain, rain, go away, please come back another day. There will be time for gloom, we'll make room for doom, but I have no care for that today. If and when this season ends, there will be plenty of time to write the epitaph on the year that was and ponder the years to come. Today we talk about today.
Go ahead world, write us off. Dismiss us. Forget about us. That works for me. If there's one squad in the league that can rally around the "us-against-the-world" mentality, it is the Boston Celtics.
The Captain of this ship, Paul Pierce, is locked in and ready for the playoffs. You want intensity and leadership? How about Pierce barking at his teammates mid way through the Wizards game, rallying them to victory on and off the court. Kind of reminds you of a certain maniacal 7 footer doesn't it?
Ray Allen has gotten used to being ignored on this team. With so much attention on KG and Paul, it is easy to overlook the quiet superstar that simply goes out and delievers game-in-game-out. But let's consider for a moment what we have with Ray. He's THE best shooter in the game and deserves mention in the conversation of greatest shooters of all time. He's no one-trick pony either. For years he carried the Sonics as the star player and primary option on offense. He can and will step up his game in the playoffs. He's even got healthy ankles this year (just ask Sasha Vujacic what he can do on half-healed wheels).
Just in case the world hasn't met Rajon Rondo yet, they are about to get a steady dose of reminders that the kid is grown up. Its no longer about "potential" with Rondo. He is, hands down, one of the best point guards in the game. He can dominate a game without taking a shot outside of 3 feet but don't look now, he's also adding that 12 foot jumper that everyone said he needed. Rondo's already a star, it just may take these playoffs for everyone to notice.
Not a bad start there huh? Ask anyone what the model for NBA Championships is and they'll tell you great defense and three star players. I submit that they have the three stars and the defense ain't all that bad either. Certainly the Celtics will miss the reiging Defensive Player of the Year. But they still have the mastermind Tom Thibodeau working on diabolical schemes to throw any offense into turmoil.
As I said yesterday, this team will not go quietly. Ubuntu is not just for teams at full strength. This unit no longer has to worry about overconfidence or complacency. They shouldn't fail for lack of focus or motivation. If anything they'll be locked in and hyped to make their fallen teammate proud of them. It is what he would want.
Anything IS possible. The Celtics are the defending Champions until someone does something about it. Write them off at your own risk.