The 2012-13 NBA regular season is upon us, and our Boston Celtics will soon be on full display for all the world to see. No more speculation. No more guessing games. The games will soon count in the standings, and our Celtics will soon find out how they measure up against the league’s elite teams.
There’s no question that Boston is still an elite team. What no one knows for sure is how the changes will impact the C’s in positive or negative ways. On paper this team appears much-improved over last season’s edition. But until the games start to count and the minutes are dolled out, success or failure open to conjecture.
Many experts tend to think that this team has the potential to be something special. You start with the continuity of the head coach, and Boston has one of the very best in Doc Rivers. He’s the perfect blend of X’s and O’s, psychiatrist, cheerleader, disciplinarian, comedian and motivator. You bring back a nucleus of players who have been through the wars together, stars like Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo. You keep players who were on IR and who could have signed elsewhere this offseason (Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox), and you somehow manage to hold onto the underrated Brandon Bass. You sprinkle in new veterans like Jason Terry and Courtney Lee, and you add a dash of youth in the form of Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo and Kris Joseph. Size is addressed with the likes of Jason Collins and Darko Milicic. And then there are the players hoping to make their names known on the permanent roster, guys like Dionte Christmas, et. al.
Add it all up, and what do you have? On paper it appears to be a winning formula for the Celtics. They are deeper than last season. Younger, too. They have the size that they lacked so sorely. And perhaps most importantly, they seem to have a roster stocked with quality guys, players who have the potential to develop a true team chemistry. Again, that remains to be proven, but I like what Danny Ainge has constructed.
So let the glamour teams like Miami and Los Angeles hog the spotlight. When this season is done, our vastly improved-yet-under-the-radar Boston Celtics just may be the last team standing.