After a 2007-2008 year that brought a NBA championship to the City of Boston for the first time since the mid-80's the Boston Celtics are driven to win back to back NBA titles.
The team's major core is back this season as the "Big Three" of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen will once again try to gel with role players and gain another trophy.
Garnett, last year's defensive player of the year, captivated the fans of Boston with his invigorating style and high motor in his first season with the Green.
With close to 20 points a game, double digits rebounds last season and a passion rarely exemplified by a professional athlete, some naysayers believe since he finally received his trophy his style of play will change because a lack of motivation.
I totally disagree. Garnett's personality and superior talents are attributes seen only a few times a generation. I expect him to at least match last year's totals.
Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were brought together with some wondering if they could gel by not having as many touches on the offensive floor. They as well proved naysayers wrong as Pierce's overall game flourished and Allen continued to be one of the top 5 jump shooters in the league.
Other starters this year will once again be Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins. Rondo, only in his second year as a pro, learned on the fly as a point guard. His steady and at times spectacular play and athleticism on both ends of the floor throughout the regular season and playoffs made him the future floor general for the Celtics throughout the decade.
Perkins, a rough 6-10 center, who is coming off of season shoulder surgery, was a valuable asset to the team with his rebounding and block shot skills. Although his offensive game struggled at times, Perkins learned his role on the squad and blossomed when "star" players were doubled and he was close to the basket.
Major bench players this season will be Leon Powe, Glenn Davis, Tony Allen, and Eddie House. Brian Scalabrine, rookie Bill Walker, and second year player Greg Pruitt will round out the regular rotation.
Pruitt will be a major factor this season as the back up point guard—a position held by Sam Cassell last year, who may stay with the organization to play part time or even coach, Pruitt will be called upon for some tough minutes and must be able to run the offense.
At this point in time before the season begins I do see the Celtics winning the East once again and making a playoff run. Unless they get a proven back up point guard, as well as a veteran front court player, it will be tough to bring home another coveted NBA trophy.
There are a couple of question marks, but with the "Big Three" back, maybe, just maybe, they'll be celebrating again in Boston once again.