Coming out of the All Star break, the Boston Celtics were facing their most difficult stretch of the season after playing less than .500 ball going into the break. They were to journey out west and take on the Kings, Lakers, Blazers, and Nuggets. The Celtics have never really played all that well out west so it made the start of the 2nd half of the season look just as putrid as they ended the first half.
The trade deadline came and went with no big noise truly being made from Danny Ainge. He made his move just to make a move, sending fan favorite Eddie House, JR Giddens, and Bill Walker for Nate Robinson and Carl Landry’s little brother.
When the dust settled, the Celtics were coming home after going 3-1 and picking up a couple games on the struggling LeBron’s. After beating the Knicks last night in a game that featured zero offense, the Celtics find them 6 games out of the top spot in the East and 1 game behind Orlando for the 2nd seed.
What has truly been great was the deal Danny made that no one knew he could pull off. Somehow he was able to acquire the 2007 versions of Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. There has been nothing better than seeing thr true Ray Allen with the sweetest shot in the game and to finally see Garnett sky for rebounds and be that defensive force that we all know and came to love.
What excites me most is that Boston has yet to hit its stride this season and that’s what the NBA is all about. I look for them to finally come together at the right time, playoff time. Pierce, Rondo, and Perk have been solid all season long. Ray and KG haven’t been themselves until just recently. Marquis Daniels is just starting to get back into shape after missing over 2 months of the season. Glen Davis has shown flashes of the brilliance he displayed during the playoffs last year and I expect him to be a solid contributor down the stretch. Rasheed Wallace has pissed a lot of people off, none more than me. His Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde act has worn thin with me. But I have faith that he knows that when he plays below the foul line he helps his team the most.
I do not know how the Nate Robinson experiment is going to work out. I may have PTSD with late season point guard acquisitions. (See Cassel, Sam and Marbury, Stephon.) But as of right now, I am ever the optimist. The team finally looks hungry again which has been refreshing to see. Even more exciting is they have their swag back. Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo are looking to dunk on people’s heads and Garnett and Perk are looking swat opposing shots into the third row.
Tomorrow night is a huge game for the Celtics. They will be facing a struggling Cleveland Cavs team that no doubt hasn’t forgotten that these very Celtics came into their house for the first game of the year and beat them somewhat handily by 7. Expect the Garden to be hopping with noise levels that will be beyond deafening.
Let’s go Celtics!