Thursday, November 8, 2007
The season is a week old but the league not just the eastern conference better take notice right now. The Boston Celtics are on a mission and they are just getting to know each other on the court. Last night’s dismantling of the Nuggets in Boston is another sign that teams walking into the Garden this year are going to have their hands full. Denver who played in New York the night before had no idea what they were in for on the 2nd night of their 1st back to back of the year. Plain and simple the Celtics played the best half of team basketball the Coach has seen since…well I am not sure, that is how good it was. Everyone had a hand in the spanking of the Nuggets. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen lead the way all going over 20 points but it was the new smothering defense of the Celtics that buried Denver. The Celtics are at the top of the league in FG% defense, a big change from what has been going on the last five years. When the Garnett trade went down all the media could do was question how will the 3 of them share the ball? Who will take the last shot? What about the rest of the roster that has nothing? NONSENSE!!! No one mentioned defense. No one talked about TEAM. Garnett raises the level of everyone around him at both ends of the court. According to all the experts out there Pierce and Allen do not play any defense. They seem to be playing defense now. The whole team is playing defense. There is no other option. Doc Rivers has done a very good job meshing this veteran and young talent into a cohesive unit…and it is November 8th. The trip to Europe where the team had no other option but to bond both on and off the court is already paying dividends. The supporting cast specifically Kendrick Perkins, Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen and Eddie House all have the confidence they need to be important pieces to the puzzle. They are confident because Rivers, Garnett, Pierce and Allen all believe in them and know it is about the TEAM, not the individual. Team basketball is officially back in Boston. The scary part is they are just getting started.