By Chris Ryan
Boston, MA- It’s been awhile since the Boston Celtics have been this good. OK, let me rephrase that. It’s been awhile by our current standards since the C’s have been this good.
My kids expect a Boston team to win a title each year. Back in my day, teams other than the Celtics would go decades in between titles and the Patriots played in a really big high school stadium.
Anyway, it’s been six years since the Boston Celtics were this good. The 2010-11 C’s were coming off a brutal loss in Game 7 of the 2010 Finals in LA to the Lakers and that was the last year they’d be a glorified contender for the NBA title finishing first in the Atlantic Division with a record of 56-26.
That was Avery Bradley’s rookie season and he serves as the lone bridge between the past and present.
That Celtics team had three sure thing Hall of Famers in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. They carried themselves as super stars.
This team is different. There has been a process. They started at the bottom and are climbing there way to the top in a process that has taken years.
Their superstar, Isaiah Thomas, was picked last in the 2011 NBA Draft. The complex of being looked down on, doubted and underestimated has spurred a identity that Thomas has in common with Bradley, Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart.
‘Doubt us at your own peril.’
‘We will outwork you. We will bruise you. We will outlast you. We will defeat you.’
Pressure has mounted for this team to add more superstars. But, the yearly growth of the players mentioned above and the offseason addition of Al Horford has made that less imperative.
History shows that championship teams since 1980 have generally had multiple players who were amongst the games best and likely Hall of Famers.
The only exception is the 2004 Detroit Pistons. A group kind of similar to this one in mentality, but this Celtics team is light years better on the offensive end.
Will, the Celtics be able to make it thru LeBron and the Cavs and then the star laden Warriors or Spurs in the finals? Probably not. But, enjoy the process.