The complete recovery of Kevin Garnett (pictured), is one of 10 Reasons why the Celtics will stop the Miami Heat from ascending to the top of the Eastern Conference.
As I said yesterday, the general public is already crowning the "Superfriends" Miami Heat as the class of the East, but I can pull up some teams that may have something to say about it. Check out this first one and tell me what You think!
The Celtics, as currently constituted, have been forged together in the fire of the championship chases of 2008 and 2010.
Don't forget people, this team was leading the Lakers in Game Seven in LA; with six minutes left to play! The Heat haven't made their playoff bones yet.
Wade has his ring, but LeBron only made a cameo in 2007, and Bosh hasn't sniffed the second round yet, much less the microscope of the Finals.
Say what you will about Doc Rivers (and I know some do), but he has established a connection with his team unlike any coach in the NBA (save Phil Jackson and Greg Popovich). He knows the right buttons to push with his team, and they will run through a wall for him.
This fact cannot be underestimated when contrasting him with Coach Spoelstra. What's that? The Heat are waiting for Riles to come back down? Oh, well; until that date comes, the C's have the superior coach.
There is something to be said about knowing what you want to do as a team, and then, doing it. The Celtics know who to call on in given situations when the lights are at their brightest, the Heat have yet to figure that part out.
Yeah, it's nice to say what will happen, but the C's can say what sets to run or defenses to call out. Miami, has not been in that position yet. That knowledge could very well be the difference between watching or playing in the Finals!
Kendrick Perkins will not be ready to play at training camp, Opening Night, or December 1, in all likelihood. However, the Defensive Quarterback should be back by January, 2011. He should be rounding into shape by April 1.
Come the Conference Finals, he should be patrolling the lane with his typical junkyard dog mentality. Enter the paint at your own peril.
Everyone in sports knows it takes two full years to recover from a knee injury that required surgery.
Kevin Garnett will be on schedule to make his total recovery from his first knee surgery in spring, 2011. This man who brings more intensity than almost any other player in the League, will be frothing at the bit to prove his team's run is not done.
Just ask Pau Gasol after the Finals if KG is done, not with the way he came around in the second half of the series.
This man is the third-best PG in the game today (take a bow, D-Will and CP3.) He controls the game like a maestro with the Boston Philharmonic. He is a whirling dervish, racking up Triple Doubles at 6-1 like a man who's 6-8.
Playing with both verve and ultra-intensity, he will eat up Chalmers, Arroyo or whoever the "Heatians" play at the One.
Still cat-quick with hands that easily palm the rock, play off him at your own risk.
The Celtic Pride is not something that is to be downplayed. When you can go to practice and see the 17 Championship banners, multiple HOFers at the complex, or be reminded of the winning tradition, some cower at living up to that pressure.
These Celts have actually embraced it and actually live up to the moment. Unlike Mr. Bosh and Mr. James. This may be the most underrated factor to consider.
Two grizzled champions. Two proud warriors who have shown they have what it takes to take the East once again.
Three-point records in the Finals? Check. Eating Ron Artest up in Games 4-6? Check. Individually and collectively Hall of Famers? Check again. Do not underestimate the chances of these two men.
As of today, there may be an unforseen factor that comes back to swing the tide in the C's favor. A possible injury, bad chemistry, a free agent signing on the horizon (like the soon-to-be-released Delonte West).
Any, or all of the above have shot down potential contenders, like the early 00s Blazers, '04 Lakers and countless others. Heat fans, beware.
Over the last few years, we have seen teams make big splashes via trades and free agency (Shaq - Miami, Gasol - Lakers). And inevitably, it takes one year of success without winning the title, before a legitimate run for the Larry O'Brien Trophy occurs.
Having said that, Miami may not take it all until 2012. And before You say it, I know, the team to disprove that theory is Boston in '08. That's because they had the intangibles that the "Superfriends" may not have.
We shall see...