25°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-20-24 PDF
February 20, 2024
2-12-24 PDF
February 12, 2024

Excitement at the Garden Again

Excitement at the Garden Again

The past few years of Celtic basketball can be summed up in one word: Potential. Executive Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge has been trying for the past five or six years to compile a team that would give Boston it’s 17th Championship and put the Celtics back on the map. As cliché as it may sound, this feels like the year.

After a disappointing draw on lottery night, in which the Celts received the number five pick in the draft, the team needed something drastic to remain hopeful, and for Ainge to keep his job. They went out and traded for Ray Allen, one of the best shooters in NBA history to team up with one of the leagues top players in Paul Pierce. The trade got the Boston fan base thinking, but didn’t exactly seem like the over the top move the Celtics really needed.

So what did they do? They got the most competitive, hungriest man in the NBA: Kevin Garnett. It took two first-round draft picks and five players to get him but the upside was tremendous. Kevin Garnett, an MVP in 2003-04 and a ten-time All-Star, is widely known as one of the best all-around players in the NBA today. His defense is like no other, he plays the post extremely well, and he wants a championship more than anybody.

PP, Ray Ray and KG are heading towards the latter part of their careers and they are aching for a championship before they have to hang ’em up.

Aside from the Big Three, other positions still remain questionable. Second year point guard Rajon Rondo is very quick and has the ability to improve vastly over this season. His inexperience in the NBA should be overshadowed by the All-Star cast that surrounds him; however it isn’t a long shot to assume he may not be ready to handle to handle the load. Kendrick Perkins, entering his fourth season with the Celtics, will be starting at center in 2007. Perkins has been less than impressive these past three years, showing glimpses of improvement but never really peaking. The talent that surrounds him should make him better, but there’s always a chance he doesn’t hold up.

The bench and role players will really define how this team will fare down the road. Tony Allen is in his third season and needs to really be someone who can come off the bench and make an instant impact. Veterans Eddie House and James Posey seem like just the right players to plug into any scheme the Celtics need to run this year, and don’t forget to include carrot-top fan-favorite Brian Scalabrine.

After trading their fifth overall pick in the trade for Allen, the Celtics did a good job to pick up Glen “Big Baby” Davis, who was very effective at LSU last year. He was a steal, considering where Boston drafted him in the second round. Gabe Pruitt, a guard out of USC, and Brandon Wallace, a forward from South Carolina, have both done well in pre-season play. They look like they could potentially be legitimate substitutes for the Big Three in years to come.

One question still remaining in the 2007 season is head coach Doc Rivers. After tanking the 2006 season to potentially get Greg Oden, the Celtics decided to give Rivers one more shot at achieving success here in Boston. With a professional coaching record of 273-312, there’s always room for doubt. I don’t see how in the world it would be possible to screw this season up, but you just never know with Doc Rivers. Ainge will most likely have a tight leash on Rivers, and if it seems to start out anything like last season, they will cut ties with Doc and find somebody else.

Before the Celtics got Garnett, I still had my doubts about the season. I’m not sure if Kevin McHale felt bad for us, but he sure gave the Celtics new life. Not only does this Celtic’s team seem favored to win a weaker Eastern Conference, I’m going out on a limb and predicting them to win it all. Not just because they are the Celtics and we haven’t had a legit team since Larry Legend, but because they have three main guys that want this more than anybody in the NBA. The Western Conference is substantially better nowadays, but if this team works hard and comes together at the right time, they should have no problem. The Boston fans could be looking at a 17th Championship banner next year.