Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Five Reasons the Boston Celtics Will Repeat

The Boston Celtics finished the 2007-08 season by dominating their opponents. Bucket after bucket, rebound after rebound, hustle after hustle.
Whether it was Paul Pierce capitalizing on a three-point play, Kevin Garnett swatting a shot into the stands, or Ray Allen splashing a trey, the C's did everything right for their future Hall of Famers by surrounding them with the best bench in the NBA.
Leon Powe, Sam Cassell, PJ Brown, James Posey, and Eddie House proved they were the best backup five by knocking down open shots, playing gritty defense, and oozing with emotion.
Well, now the glamour is gone, injuries have hit, James Posey peaced out for a bigger contract, PJ Brown went back to reading books, and Sam Cassell fell down the depth chart until he was finally traded.
Can they fight back to the top of the heap?
Well, here is five reasons they will repeat.

1. Kevin Garnett is back after being out for the first time in, well, a while
He's extremely happy to be back and he's hyper and flowing with positive emotions. Garnett's emotional leadership shows on the court and it pays off when younger players Leon Powe and Glen Davis play behind him and take in some of his energy.
Pierce is already an emotional cyclone and now that KG is back it get's everyone wired and pumped, yelling in the locker room and calmly tossing opponents into the dust behind them.

2. Rajon Rondo's emergence as a potential All-Star
Distributing, scoring, playing lock down defense, and helping the team in points off turnovers—Rondo's extremely fast and has learned to be a pass-first point guard rather than fly into the lane and throw up shots like he did a in the past years.

3. Leon Powe and Glen Davis
I'm more impressed with these two young guys than anybody on the team. Talk about stepping it up, both of them delivered career nights multiple times in KG's absence and showed they can counter each other perfectly.
Davis can knock down jumpers from almost anywhere inside the arc (which I find incredibly hard to believe given his build, but somehow he does it) and Powe muscles his way into the lane and scores at will, often drawing the foul. These two are extremely key in the quest of returning to the finals.

4. Stephon Marbury
Marbury is one of the best scorers and passers in the NBA when he's healthy and a good mood. If Marbury can mold into character and mature mentally with his age, he can be a lethal threat in the playoffs as the best backup point guard in the league and he'll have Cleveland and San Antonio scratching their heads like, "why didn't we gamble on this guy?"

5. Mikki Moore and Eddie House
These two are just as important as anyone.
Moore's long arms and athleticism allow him to be an exceptional shot-blocker and rebounder; he'll see time in physical series against guys like Dwight Howard, Anderson Varejao, and Al Horford.
House, on the other hand, is like a instant breakfast drink. Throw him in the game for five minutes and he has eight or nine points. Knocking down threes off screens is his favorite shot, that he takes a lot...sometimes a little too much, but if he can play smart and mesh with Marbury on the second unit it could spell gold...for the 18th time.


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