First off, signing a long term contract with Doc Rivers is phenomenal. He is all about TEAM. No coach in the league is better than Doc. So that gives us traction, motivation, and a game plan for 2012.
Secondly, we know that Paul and Rajon will be back. I think that KG will postpone the idea of retirement for at least one more year, as long as Doc is in on the sideline. Ray obviously likes it here, and I expect his return as well.
We should resign Delonte and I think Jeff Green will be back, for better or worse. He needs to learn to play serious defense and improve his pass catching. I would like to see Kristic return. He manned up and played well for the most part. He needs a confidence boost and he is a serviceable player. Jermaine has one more year on his contract and barring retirement, he too will return. That leaves about four spots on the roster. We need a center, a power forward, and a couple of guards, one point, one shooting to fill out the bench. I don't see a place for Baby, but if he could get some confidence and focus, he is pound for pound one hell of a player around the peach basket. But I think he is gone.
I have a lot of faith in Danny Ainge. He is a lot sharper than he looks (sorry Dan.) He is one of the very best GMs in the game, and he will bring some help on board. I have always wanted to see Gerald Wallace in green doing baseline dunks and ally oops. I know I am dreaming, but.... One more thing, I hope that Shaq can get his body healed. He would be a great addition if healthy again.
So can we hang banner 18 in June, 2012? Barring another year of overwhelming injuries, we have a chance. No doubt the East is vastly improved. We have to go through Miami and that is going to continue for the forseeable future.
Silencing the doubters. Proving to themselves that heart and guts can overcome everything, and everyone else, the Celtics of 2012 need to stay farsighted for six months and laser focused for the last two. Maybe the torch has been passed, but we know who has it and we can go and get it. Work cut out for us? You know it. But we won't lose for lack of effort. Great summer to all.