The World Champion Boston Celtics destroyed the Wizards last night for their 21st win - in their 23rd game. The 21-2 start is the best in the franchise's illustrious history. I think we can put to rest any concern about a post-championship letdown. The intensity is clearly still there - just ask Big Baby Davis (actual nickname) who was overwhelmed to tears during a timeout this week. The C's aren't lacking for emotion or drive. As Paul Pierce pointed out, you don't get remembered as a great Celtic if you only win one championship - even if you do set the record for best start to a season. These guys are hungry for # 2.
But they lost uber-sub James Posey! How could they continue to win? Last night, the usually insightful and entertaining commentator Reggie Miller said that Posey was the reason the Celtics won the Championship last year. With all due respect (always a preface for a statement of disrespect), that's complete bullshit. That's like saying that a good 8th inning set-up reliever on a baseball team is responsible for that team's success. Bullshit. Posey was a great sub, clutch shooter, staunch defender, good energy guy, character guy, etc, etc. But the reasons the Celtics won the Larry O'Brien trophy were named Pierce, Garnett, Allen, Rondo, Perkins (yes, Perkins), and the bench as a whole. And they're all still on the team, and all still playing well. Pierce, Garnett, Perk, and the bench have been very good, and great at times, but the specific reasons the Celtics are 21-2 and the best team in the NBA right now are in the backcourt - Rondo and Ray. Both players have elevated their games beyond last year's level of play and I'd put them up against any backcourt in the league, including Fisher/Bryant, Iverson/Hamilton, Williams/West, Paul/Peterson, etc. There are better guards in the league, but there is not a better starting tandem. Rondo's triple double last Friday put him in rarified Boston air: only Pierce and Bird have had games with stats that high in points/assists/rebounds. [here's a great breakdown of his skills from truehoop, making the case for Rondo as an all-star] And Ray's been the team MVP so far, shooting over 50% from the field for 20 points a game. He credits the continuing healing of his ankles for his success. If his ankles, and the other key body parts of the team, stay healthy, I think we'll be attending another parade this spring, and I'll be getting another Tommy Point for my flourescent green wig / geriatric sunglasses look.
Barring any big news developments or new creepy VTK photos, this'll probably be the last post until after Christmas. I'm sure I'll cook up a good year in review, which hopefully will be more interesting than "Celtics Win! Obama Wins!". For those, and other reasons (yes you, BVM), it's been a good year. Happy Holidays, VTKountry.