While the start of the new year is a great time of optimism for what 2012 may bring, it's also a wonderful time to reflection. For a life-long NBA fan like myself, it's another reminder that "man, time really does fly by!"
For the Boston Celtics and their fanbase, the first three games of the season brought some despair and the desire to switch the time back four years. In 2008, the Celtics were fully rejuvenated and on their way to their 17th championship.
Four years later, the goal is the same, and so is the core. Even more important, the captain remains the same. Paul Pierce, now in his 14th season, is the undisputed leader of this team. The 0-3 start by Boston was an indication that, if banner No. 18 had any chances of being pulled down at the start of next season, Pierce has to be the leading force.
"The Truth" validated that statement over the past few days, as the Celtics are now 3-0 with him in the lineup. Though a bruised heel slowed him down quite a bit, the competitiveness and fire he brings was still apparent.
"He's a very, very good teammate...He has a very, very high basketball IQ, and he's very talkative on the court. He knows how to play. And he's willing to give the ball up on his own. When you make sacrifices like that you impact everybody. It just gets overshadowed sometime by the scoring," he added.
And now, here's what Pierce brings to the table on offense, and why without him, Boston might as well trade Ray Allen and Garnett now...