Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Time for a Statement…And the Rebirth of a Rivalry.

Yes the Boston Celtics are off to a blazing 20-2 start this season. They are undefeated at home winning by an average margin of 20 and overall their point differential per contest is plus 14, which is far and away the best in the league. Tonight at home against the Pistons someone is going to make a statement. The Celtics despite their torrid first quarter of the season realize they have not won anything yet. The Pistons have been an eastern power for the past six seasons and are still real pissed about last year’s playoff collapse against the King and his Cavs. Oh yeah and remember the late 80’s thru the 1991-1992 season? There was a bit of a rivalry between these two teams…something tells me that will be reborn tonight in front of a crazed Boston crowd.

This rivalry actually started in the mid 1980’s when the Celtics were champions and the young Pistons were fighting to be a playoff team and earn some respect. In 1986 the Celtics won 67 games, which included a 40-1 record at home and won their 16th NBA championship by going 15-3 in the postseason. Larry Bird was the best player in the world, and he was joined by arguably the best single season team the game of basketball has ever seen. The Pistons took notice. After winning 46 games Detroit was eliminated in the 1st round of the playoffs by Dominique Wilkins and the Atlanta Hawks.

Detroit knew they were a few pieces away from being able to challenge a team like the Celtics. To their credit that off season they went out and got those pieces. First they traded forward Kelly Tripuka to the Utah Jazz for forward Adrian Dantley. AD was the kind of player the Pistons needed as he could score from the blocks and from the wing. He was 6’5” but played like he was 6’9”, one of the toughest covers there was in the game at that point. That summer the Pistons drafted Dennis Rodman and John Salley. Rodman and Salley instantly made the team more athletic and very deep in the front court behind Bill Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn and Sidney Green (by the end of the season and the playoffs Salley and Rodman were playing major minutes while Green was hanging with Tony Campbell and Kurt Nimphius on the bench.)

The backcourt was lead by none other than Isiah Thomas. At that time Isiah was the best six foot player in the league and had entered all world player status. But something was missing. Contending for a championship. Along with 2nd year guard Joe Dumars and Vinnie Johnson the Pistons had one of the best three guard rotations in the league. But it was the added depth upfront along with the continued development of the bad boys’ attitude that propelled in the Pistons into contenders for the 1986-1987 season.

We all remember who the instigator was for Detroit, and while Bill Laimbeer was a very good basketball player he deserved what he got from the Chief and the rest of the Celtics. Fast forward the video to the 1:55 mark and let it run…watch Robert Parish and Bill Laimbeer under the basket.

Tonight we will not see anything like that but we will see two very good basketball teams who are both on a journey to achieve greatness. The game will be physical, chippy and there will be lots of trash talking. Tonight marks a marquee NBA match-up where these two teams will be looking to make a statement while revitalizing one of the league’s all-time great rivalries from 20 years ago. Detroit got its championship in 2004 and is hungry to another, the Celtics are after the franchises first since 1986. They clash at 7pm in Boston on ESPN, find a TV and get comfy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the MP3 e MP4, I hope you enjoy. The address is A hug.