It is amazing how the paradigm has shifted around here. Prior to the arrival of a new ownership group led by Wyc Grousbeck and the subsequent hiring of Danny Ainge as President of Basketball Operations in 2003 the Boston Celtics had become almost irrelevant here in sports-crazed New England. While the Red Sox and Patriots were perennial championship contenders the Celtics were having enormous difficulty in just securing a radio deal. TV ratings were abysmal and attendance was disappointing. Beset by bad contracts the once proud Celtics seemed stuck in a endless cycle of mediocrity and it appeared that there was no way out. But bit by bit Danny Ainge changed all that. He jettisoned aging veterans and stocked up on draft choices. Although it was hardly apparent in those first few years Danny Ainge had a plan and executed it brilliantly. It all culminated in the late spring of 2007 when the Celtics completed a trade for Kevin Garnett and added veteran Ray Allen to the mix. Finally Paul Pierce had some help and the trio led the Celtics to their first NBA champtionship in over two decades. An unfortunate injury to Kevin Garnett precluded the Celtics from successfully defending their NBA title last year..
But make no mistake about it. Things sure are looking up for the Boston Celtics as they embark on the 2009-2010 season. I would have to say that they are the odds on favorite to win another championship. Expect the multi-talented Rajon Rondo to take his game to the next level now that he has signed a new five year deal with the Celtics. At the tender of age of 23 he is already an experienced veteran and one of the top point guards in the NBA. In a couple of years he will likely be the face of the franchise. Meanwhile, the "Big Three" of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen seem poised for another outstanding season. And this time around Danny Ainge has given coach Doc Rivers an amazing supporting cast including the 14 year veteran F-C Rasheed Wallace as well as the newly acquired Marquis Daniels. Perhaps the biggest surprise in the early going has been the play of forward Shelden Williams who was the fifth overall selection by Atlanta in the 2006 NBA draft. He appears to be in a perfect situation and many pundits are predicting he may finally become the productive player that everyone expected him to be three years ago. And let's not forget center Kendrick Perkins, another young veteran who just seems to get better and better. You can also expect solid contributions from Glen "Big Baby" Davis and Tony Allen. There is really not a bad player on this roster.
Barring serious injury the Celtics should be there in May and June battling for yet another NBA crown. Doc Rivers certainly has the horses this time around and should be able to provide his veteran players adequate rest throughout the season. As a Celtics fan I can attest to the fact that this is a great team to watch. They possess both a dynamic offense and a tenacious and utterly dominant defense. The way ESPN basketball analyst Jeff Van Gundy sees it "the Celtics are clearly the best team in the NBA this year." It sure is fun being a sports fan in New England these days! Very highly recommended!
ON THURSDAY JUNE 17 THE L.A. LAKERS BEAT THE CELTICS 83-79 IN GAME 7 OF THE NBA FINALS IN LOS ANGELES THUS DENYING THE CELTS THEIR 18TH NBA TITLE.
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The Boston Celtics (pronounced /ˈsɛltɪks/) are a professional basketball club based in Boston, Massachusetts, playing in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team is owned by Wycliffe Grousbeck and coached by Doc Rivers, with Danny Ainge as the President of Basketball Operations. Founded in 1946, their 17 NBA Championships are the most for any NBA franchise. The Celtics' greatest domination came from 1957 to 1969, with 11 championships in 13 years, and eight in a row, the longest consecutive championship winning streak of any North American professional sports team. They currently play their home games at TD Garden.
The Celtics either dominated the league or played a large part in the playoffs in the late 1950s through the mid 1980s. After the deaths of the second draft pick Len Bias in 1986 and Reggie Lewis in 1993, the team fell into a steady decline, only making the playoffs four times from 1996 to 2007. The franchise has recently returned to prominence with the acquisition of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen during the 2007 off-season. On June 17, 2008, the Boston Celtics won their 17th championship by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 4–2 in the 2008 NBA Finals.