The Boston Celtics are fresh off of NBA championship title number 17—but the ultimate question burning around Boston as of late is, can they do it again?
The "Big Three"—consisting of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen—all return to the TD Bank North Garden for a title defense in the 2008-09 season. Most of the supporting cast has also returned behind them.
These players may have been outshined by the Big Three last season—but believe that the new banner may not be hanging over the court this season if it wasn’t for a rookie point guard, a no-name center, and a bench full of misfits and old talent. This supporting cast is made up of Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Sam Cassel, and Eddie House, just to name a few.
Most of the bandwagon fans of the '07-08 season may be trailing into Boston again because no one of shear importance left the '08-09 squad.
The Celtics have opened the preseason down in Newport, RI, on the campus of Salve Regina University. This short but meaningful trip to the players allowed them to open up and relax in what would have normally had been a quick paced and midseason-like environment up in Boston.
Danny Ainge definitely made wise use of their late draft picks, picking up what looks to be two of the best rookies in class in J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker. Both young players out of the midwest regions bring even more young talent and speed, and both are helping to round off a near-perfect roster.
The 2008-2009 regular season schedule does not make the championship title defense any easier, as the C’s open the season with ten home games in Boston during the month of November, but follow that up with only playing four home games in February around the All-Star break.
The C’s may have dominated the West Coast teams last season, but this season marks a new territory and a new outlook for nearly all West Coast teams—especially the Los Angeles Lakers, who lost to the Celtics in the NBA Finals.
The Celtics' season looks to have its twists and turns—just like any other team in 2008—but with such a prestigious team like this one, it is truly hard not to believe in championship banner number 18.