I started out wanting to pull quotes from the past year and give a quick overview of 2007. However, as I went through January in the archives, I found one quote after another that summed up my feelings for the season in a neat and tidy package. I also ran out of steam and decided that if I was going to quote a whole year of blog posts, this blog post would be thousands of words long. So here is a quick look back at a snapshot of where we were a year ago.
First of all, the first column of 2007 linked back to my SWAGs article from September of 2006. I honestly don't know when my obsession for Kevin Garnett started, but I can tell you that by that time I was already predicting that the Celtics would trade for him. I just didn't have the when part right.
The Celtics will trade for Kevin Garnett. You can't convince me that this won't happen. The Wolves will be struggling at the deadline and KG will finally snap. He and Mike James will mix like vinegar and baking soda and Ricky (God bless him) will be Ricky (meaning he's a fantastic player, but not the kind of leader that everyone can rally around). The Celtics have the best package to offer and as we've discussed, he and Danny can get things done on the down low.
Getting back to the first of the year, I was already starting to think about the lottery.
With all of that said, even if we are in the lottery, the chances are slim that we'd actually win the Oden/Durant sweepstakes.
That wasn't a prediction so much as it was a bad feeling, one that flip flopped daily for the next 5 months. Case in point, just 5 days later, I was already looking for silver linings.
So here is my daydream. My "future so bright we gotta wear shades" perfect storm scenario. A 20 game turnaround from this year to next. That means the team ends up with 30ish wins this year and 50ish wins next year. It could happen.
In addition to predictions, I was keying into some themes that would reverberate for the rest of the season.
By mid January, I was already getting burnt out on the losing:
I know I'm the king of "look on the bright side" and I've led the "lower your expectations" campaign. Still, the competitor in me is really tired of losing. Period. Every once in a while I'd like to see a game like we had against Memphis where everything seems to click and the Celtics blow the other team out. Or perhaps they come back to make a close game against a tough opponent and someone like Gerald hits the game winner. I'm not asking for a winning streak, just a win once in a while. I don't think that's too much to ask for.
On January 20th, I was wrestling with my guilty concience for rooting against my own team.
The second time I saw the score flash up we were down by a few points and the seconds were ticking down to the final buzzer. This time those whispers jumped from the back of my mind and silently yelped with joy at the team's defeat. This happened unconsciously and without warning. There was nothing I could do. It just came out and I think I even smiled outwardly. A second later I was filled with guilt and did my best to push the joy down and beat myself up for feeling that way.
On January 26th, I realized that the following Summer would be the most important summer of Danny Ainge's tenure.
It is amazing how far we've come in just one short year isn't it? From 18 game losing streaks to sitting atop the NBA standings with one of the best starts ever (which is saying something in Boston). What a ride it has been.
Danny's whole plan is based on building through the draft and picking up tradable assets. If he can't use those assets to make this team better, what's the point? The bottom line is that if this team doesn't hit the ground running as contenders at the beginning of next season, then Ainge will have failed.