I think everyone is breathing a little better now that the regular season is OVER. I would like to say that its all behind us but its not. We have to look forward to what some consider impossible, something we couldn't do last year. We just couldn't finish in someone elses house, and the Lakers were putting on their ring's while we were hosting the Heat in the first game of a season that went on too long. I still haven't seen the end of game 7 or anything from the post game. I can only hope that we can reverse the roles and were the ones celebrating while Phil Jackson is packing.
Things have changed since last season, but alot has stayed the same. We have all the new faces from the trade that left many of us with a sick feeling in our gut. We have the guys from the off-season that we brought in to be the bench that just never was. The East got alot stronger, and the Lakers added more talent to their bench. I had said something in a post before the season started saying Ainge might just pull something off at the Trade Deadline that made us all say, how did he pull that off? Instead it left us all wondering why. Our biggest loss was not part of the trade. Our biggest loss was when Thibs packed his bags and moved to Chicago, and not because it made us worse. It didn't make us worse it just made Chicago alot more dangerous. But, we still have KG who looks better that the KG from the last two seasons. Pierce who also looks great, Ray who game is going to be vital in the post-season. Plus we still have Rondo, and Davis who both can come up big when the playoff ball is tipped. Oh yeah and Doc stayed, and regardless of what everyone else thinks our season would have been alot longer without him.
Now to get to the question at hand. Just what will it take for us to be looking up at banner # 18 and this being the season to remember instead of the one we cant forget no matter how hard we try. We cant have another off-season of what ifs. I personally can't take another game 7 like last years, and knowing that when the final buzzer hits that this is more than likely the end of an era for all of us. For me this will be the most emotionally invested post-season off my life largely due to the fact that we are looking at the end of this Celtics team, and mostly Because I believe no matter what the out come banner or no banner KG will hang it up. So, what will it take?
THE BENCH. I don't think it will be the deciding factor, but we do need a solid contribution. I definitely want to see Davis play closer to the basket and stop taking so many shots that I think should be taken by KG, Allen, or Pierce. Davis can and will come up big for us in the playoffs he always does. Hopefully Delonte can give us good minutes because he is also able to come up big when the pressure is on. His frailty is the big question with him. I don't expect Krstic to make a huge impact just a solid one. That brings me to Green I still don't know about this guy. I hope he can break out, and be what we brought him here to be. I question if our system is just wrong for him, or if he is just wrong for the system. We defiantly need him to be aggressive and be a difference maker off the bench.
RAY, PAUL, and KG. We just need the first two guys to keep getting it. Ray needs to become a bigger part of the offense, and Pierce needs to resemble the Pierce that couldn't be stopped in the 08 Championship season. I have no doubt that Ray will indeed get the ball in his hands in his spot often, and Pierce will give it all he has and then some. Now when it comes to KG I think he is going to be one of the two biggest factors if we are to bring the GOLD back to Boston. He is going to have to be the beast we all know he is, he is going to have to unleash every emotion he has, and make the guy that is guarding him in any series lose sleep because they know what they have to deal with from game to game. He is going to have to be dominate when he gets the ball down low, and REBOUND like never before. I expect him to push his self harder than ever before because like I said before I truly believe this is his last season. We NEED him to put up close to 20 points in every game, and pull down at least 10 rebounds per game. He is going to be the biggest factor in my opinion.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST RONDO. He is going to be the other deciding factor, he is going to have to be the Rondo that out shined Lebron in the CAV series in every game if we are to be where we all hope to be. He is going to have to find everyone in their sweet spot's, and defend like there is no tomorrow. He is going to have to take less jumpers and penetrate like we know he can. I don't care if he hits his free throws or not he can help us by getting guys in foul trouble early. He is going to have to be the Houdini we know he can be. I have no doubt that he will be what we need him to be, and our offense will get going in the first couple seconds of the shot clock and not the last ten.
All in All the smart money isn't on the Celtics, but it never is. After all we don't bet with the smart money were Celtics fans and we know what lies ahead. This team is built for the Playoffs and I don't have any doubt that when its said and done that this era becomes the legacy we all see it as. We will send Spike Lee home disappointed. Then we will turn down the Heat in Miami. We will take the Bulls by the Horns, and when we get done we will go out west. Our vengeance will be one never felt before in the NBA, and when the confetti falls in LA it wont be for the Lakers but for the greatest franchise in all of sports. The BOSTON CELTICS!