Two years ago Boston was set to make "one final run." The same thing was said last year. Has the window officially closed on the Celtics?
When the first Big Three of the modern era was assembled, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce all had one thing in common: old age. As the sand poured from the top of the hour glass, the window of opportunity grew smaller and smaller. Now, many people think it's time to rebuild in Boston.
Pump the brakes, slow down and think. Sure, they lost one of the best shooters in the league in Allen, but have they really gotten any worse? I would argue that they may have gotten even better.
By bringing in Jason Terry, you basically offset the loss of Jesus Shuttlesworth. They have a great young guard in Avery Bradley, who just may be the toughest on-ball defender in the league. They have brought back Jeff Green after his scare last season, and have added a very underrated wing player in Courtney Lee.
Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox will give them a nice big man rotation with Garnett and they also have four promising rookies in Dionte Christmas, Fab Melo, Kris Joseph and Jared Sullinger.
Lets not forget about the point guard. When he first joined the Big Three everyone wondered how this Rondo kid would fit into the picture, and if he'd be able to handle playing on a big stage. Since then, he has become arguably one of the five best players at his position. This is his team, and he knows how to run the show.
This isn't an old team anymore either. They have a great mix of veterans and young guys. There are eight guys with at least nine years of experience, but seven players have four years or less of experience including four rookies.
Obviously the No. 1 seed in the East belongs to Miami, but the remaining seven playoff spots could wind up in any order. The fact is, many people have Boston near the bottom when they could conceivably be the second or third best team in the East.
Don't tell that to the Celtics and their fans, though. They love being underestimated and proving people wrong.