Coming into the season, I knew Boston's big three would show up. But what made me think they wouldn't dominate the conference as they have was the other guys. The Leon Powes. The James Poseys. The Rajon Rondos of the world.
Let's look at the numbers.
Rondo averaged 10 points a game while dishing out a tidy five assists per game during the regular season. This kid has matured—and quickly. At times he can be erratic and take questionable shots, but to be 22 years old and running an offense this well is impressive.
James Posey, a castoff from the Miami Heat playing for his fifth NBA team, has been a great glue guy for this team. He averaged just over seven points per game in the regular season while snagging four boards a game.
Not only that, this man has played brilliant defense against LeBron in these playoffs. Of course, when containing the King it takes an entire team effort, but Posey has stood out in his defense of The Chosen One.
Leon Powe? Who? This guy has been a banger off the bench, putting in almost eight points per and pulling down four rebounds per game. The 24-year-old out of California has given KG the chance to catch his breath on the bench and has played at a high level.
Kendrick Perkins hasn't exactly set the world on fire but brings toughness to the front line. Scoring just about seven points per game, grabbing six boards a game, and sending back a shot and a half a night, this guy is making it difficult for anyone trying to take the ball to the hoop.
Now, I'm not dismissing what KG, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen have done. If those guys aren't there, Boston has a top five pick.
But without the guys listed above, Boston isn't a No. 1 seed. They are probably in the bottom half of the playoff teams in the East.
A big reason why they have performed probably comes directly from the Big Ticket himself, and the intensity and work ethic he brings. These young guys have responded to it and are playing at a high level in these playoffs.
So next time you think about the Celtics as a powerhouse, don't forget to show these youngsters some love.