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Every year the Boston Celtics are said to be too old. Every year the pundits say it is time to rebuild. And every year when May and June rolls around the Celtics are right there still playing basketball, while the majority of the league is out golfing.
Analysts have marvelled at Kevin Garnett’s rebirth. Doc Rivers had no choice last year but to move Garnett to center. Injuries had eliminated Boston’s frontcourt depth. It turned out to be one of the best decisions he’s ever made.
While not the Garnett fans remember from his days in Minnesota, he was able to turn back the clock. He looked much younger than his age and almost 46,000 regular-season minutes would have you believe.
After their playoff success, Danny Ainge had no choice but to re-sign Garnett for one more title run. Ray Allen may have fled to Miami. However, Ainge has filled out the roster nicely. He added veterans Jason Terry and Courtney Lee, re-signed Brandon Bass and Jeff Green, and drafted Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo.
PG – Rajon Rondo
SG – Courtney Lee
SF – Paul Pierce
PF – Brandon Bass
C – Kevin Garnett
6th Man – Jason Terry
Boston’s biggest strength is its defense and championship experience. The team was transformed during the 2007-08 season by the addition of Garnett and Allen. That group went on to win the title that year and come within one victory of a second banner in 2010.
The loss of Allen will hurt, but even without him this year’s team looks better on paper than it did entering last season.
Boston’s young big men will learn from Garnett, much the same way Kendricks Perkins and Glen Davis did.
Terry won a championship with the Dallas Mavericks and will provide much-needed scoring off the bench.
The team is another year older and no one can outrun Father Time. However, once again the road to the Atlantic Division crown goes through the Boston Celtics.
The question remains the same. When will their age catch up to them?
Boston took a 3-2 lead over the Miami Heat in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. At the end of the day, there was nothing they could do to slow down LeBron James. Not that the Celtics really should be upset about this. James has become so good there is no one in the league that can shut him down.
With injuries to Derrick Rose, the second spot in the East is up for grabs. The Celtics will be right there, taking the usual position at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Their age just might be too much for them to overcome, though. As the world is discovering right now in London at the Olympics, stopping LeBron James is an impossible task. But Boston will have at least one more chance to try this season.
54-28 – 1st in the Atlantic Division