Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 at 4:08 pm  |  78 responses

Links: NBA Finals Diary, Day 13

They did it: The Big Three and the Celtics finally get the big one.

by Lang Whitaker

Twelve hours ago, I was walking out of the BankCenterFleetGardenCenter and into the cool Boston night. I smelled like the floor of a bar, like stale beer with notes of champagne, both because I’d been among the first responders in the Boston locker room after the game and because Sam Cassell decided to see what would happen if he shook up a can of beer and opened it about two feet away from me. The streets of Boston were mostly empty, except for a couple of fans hanging around by the player’s parking lot exit and bunch of police wielding long wooden sticks; the game had been over for a few hours, and I assume the party had moved elsewhere by then.

Back in September I’d visited Boston to spend a day with the newest Celtic, Kevin Garnett, for a shoot and interview for our NBA preview issue. We actually spent the day in Waltham, just outside of Boston, at the Celts’ practice facility, where they have all the old Celtic championship banners hanging, which was a cool sight to see. As a journalist, I cover the NBA day to day, but as a fan, I love the NBA — always have, always will. And back in the ’80s, I always respected the Boston Celtics. The main reason the Hawks used to always get knocked out of Playoffs was the Celts, who played such great team ball and seemed to have all the necessary pieces to be a terrific franchise for decades to come.

Then Len Bias happened, and then Larry Bird’s back went out, and then we were confronted by the strange spectacle of seeing Robert Parish running out his career in a Charlotte Hornets uniform. For a team with such a proud history and tradition, it sure seemed to fade fast.

For the last decade, the Celts have been largely irrelevant to the NBA. Of course, that all changed when Danny Ainge mortgaged the future and brought in Garnett and Ray Allen and bet that his Big Three could get it done right now. I wasn’t so sure, though. Garnett, Allen and Pierce had never won anything, and the Celts didn’t really have much help for them on the bench.

But as these Playoff wore on, it became more and more obvious that Boston did have one thing in abundance like no other team had: Heart. KG leaves it all on the floor, Pierce just refused to let his squad down, Ray Allen played through injury and strife, even Rondo and Perkins sucked it up and got out there and got it done. For everyone picking against them (yours truly included), for every break that didn’t go their way, they just kept going and going and going. I mentioned this in my Diary last week, but I keep thinking back to what Celtics assistant Armond Hill told me just after that Game 4 comeback. “We just kept coming,” said Hill. “In the huddles, they just wouldn’t give up. Paul kept saying, ‘We have to win this game. We have to win this game.’”

As soon as the game ended last night, I got a text from a friend that said “Worst Finals Ever.” I didn’t even respond, because they weren’t the worst Finals ever, not even close — heck, last year’s Finals were way worse. Still, I know it’s cool to complain, to say the games sucked, whatever. But I don’t think that should tarnish the C’s win. The Celts did what there were asked to do. The NBA put a series of teams before them, and the Celts beat all of them. And then last night, they frigging snapped the Lakers’ necks. If there was any doubt about which team was better, the Lakers or the Celtics, the Celtics answered if definitively in Game Six.

Two months ago, I really thought LA was going to win it all this postseason. Between Kobe, Gasol and Odom, the Lake Show had uncovered a winning formula and been pretty dominant the last few months. But to me it seemed like the Lakers just didn’t want it as bad as the Celtics did. I know there are probably stats and charts and graphs one could look out to see a difference in the two teams, but to me it was more abstract than that. Boston just had that swagger and strut. LA couldn’t find the groove that had carried them this far.

And I know Kobe is going to get a lot of the blame, and maybe he should. Yes, Boston geared their entire team defensive strategy toward stopping him, and the rest of Lakers never really stepped it up consistently, but at the same time, you don’t think the Lakers were throwing the kitchen sink at Paul Pierce? I can only remember Kobe driving to the basket a handful of times last night, and that was in the second half when the game was decided. I still think he was the most valuable player in the NBA during the regular season, but Paul Pierce was the best player on the court during the NBA Finals. Plain and simple.

Looking back at that day I spent with KG in Boston back in September, he said some things that hold truer now than they did then. As the Celts celebrate their ring, let’s listen to his words ring one more time…


The mindset here, from the first day, man, it’s been first class. You see the difference in the organizations right off the top, just on how they treat their employees. From the small people who do community stuff to the people who do pictures, you see it, man. And it seems, just off first reaction and all of that, these people work hard for a reason: They truly believe in the Celtics, they truly believe in the organization. You can pay somebody millions, but for them to believe it is a whole other thing man.


We made some real positive acquisitions and Danny, he’s been on it trying to get guys in here who fit this team. He’s done a great job so far. His dialogue to the players—at least with me, Ray and Paul—has been great. I can’t say I’ve always had that. It’s always been like dialogue just to say that we talked to him, just so if the question is asked, it was always like, “We had a conversation…” It’s different. I see the difference, hands down I see the difference. It’s very much first class here. When they say that they’re committed to winning, I believe them. It’s not just what they say but how they do it.


It’s kind of surreal. I came here the other day to work out and they gave me my locker, and I sat down it and I was right beside Ray, and we were both just looking around like…we’re Celtics, B. You know what, though? It feels good to be appreciated for what you do. I came in here and I worked out today, and you can just see the appreciation, not just from the people you work out with—the strength coach, the trainers—but all throughout: Danny, Doc. Every now and then it’s just good to hear, man. I hated that I had to leave Witt. Witt’s one of my favorites, Randy Wittman, he’s always been there, always kept it real with me, straightforward, I love him, he’s old school just like me. When they gave him the head job I was looking forward to that because I know he’s going to do things the right way. I have no regrets because what I went through got me to where I’m at. This is just a different chapter in my life. I’ll always have ‘Sota in my heart, man. I have a place there, I’ll always keep my place there, but it is what it is. I’m looking forward, I’ll embrace this new opportunity.


Yeah, my new girl is hot, she got all the curves, she can cook, she’s dynamic. And you know what’s crazy, I got people in other places that’s loving her, when last year she wasn’t really all that. She’s hot, she’s definitely hot.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    KG’s f*cking the Celtics!

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I knew it was weird how close him and Bill were.

  • says

    and Michelle Tafoya

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Great work for the ENTIRE Finals, Lang. As always: entertaining, informative and hillarious work coming from the mind of the master. Much respect to a Celtics team that kicked ass from front to back too.

  • Ken

    Nice one says.

  • WhaHuh

    Does this mean the “len Bias curse” is over or was that more Boston excuses? I heard Sam on the post match pressers. Is he gonna mention that online or in the magazine?

  • underdog

    It’s a good thing KG will retire with a ring. Question is how many ring he’ll have on his fingers.

  • Madrub

    At some point, when the exhilaration has worn off, perhaps some of you great SLAM basketball minds will mention that the Celtics had a WAY easier road to the Finals than did the Lakers, and it still took Boston more games to get there. They’re the champs, yes, and history will mark them as such. But please let’s not hate on the Lakers or Kobe. They also accomplished much. Too bad about that last game. Eeeek!

  • http://www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    Oh please Madrup, give it a rest. Not sounding too objective hombre. C’s won, end of story. Complain in the 08/09 season mmmhkay?

  • Arthur Rimbaud Jr.

    Lakers in 9 !

  • Arthur Rimbaud Jr.

    Never give up ! Lakers in 9!

  • Phil B

    celtics had an easier trip to the finals? through lebron? through the second best team in the nba? don’t think so.

  • Drew

    Thanks for the reporting Lang. (Your internet problems will be solved by a wireless internet card.) So far, this discussion has been about the Celtics. Hopefully, it won’t turn into a Lakers discussion. But I’m sure it will.

  • Penny Hardaway

    Yep, LA couldn’t find the groove. The finals sucked ’cause of LA’s game. The Celts wanted it more, so props to them. Just don’t repeat

  • Sparker

    i’ve had that kg wallpaper you posted when this first ran on my desktop all year. sure looks you guys took the right photo now

  • Krishan

    I don’t mean to veer this discussion on a different tangent, but how’s about them boston celtics huh? They’re a pretty good team, I say.

  • Tom

    The Celtics were focused on the championship and nothing less since day 1 of this season. The Lakers only started thinking championship in late febuary…..not an excuse but in focus and determination was obvious from the beginning of this series. The Celtics were playing like this was their one and only shot, and LA couldn’t even come close to matching that intensity

  • j

    Needless to say, you’re about the only thing Sam Cassell could hit. Too bad your not a basket and the beer isn’t a ball though.

  • http://TheStartingFive.net Michael Tillery

    Lang good work. Wish I’d got up with you and the fellas. I had a great time as well.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    Lang, since i know you watched the hawks first round series and the Finals, can you give us some pointers why the hawks pushed the celts to the limit while lakers were pretty much done after game 4? what’s the difference? why was Ray allen more effective in the Finals than the first round?

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    was there any mention that it was Allen’s son, not daughter who had diabetes?

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    Dana barros sighting last night or does he work with the celtics?

  • Diogo

    They deserved it. Congrats, 2008 Celtics. They played great basketball. That is, actually, more than you can ask, in today’s NBA. Thank you for a great Finals.

  • http://www.truthismygame.com/ Kevin

    the Celts were definitely the hungrier team.. the Lakers were getting beat to just about every single loose ball possible.

  • Brian

    Yes Lang, battling to overcome the spotty internet connections makes you the Finals MVP………was that you taking a pic of KG during his press conference?

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    Highlight of that presser: there were people in there giving the Celtics standing ovations. Beat writers were getting angry. KG was in a good mood.

  • http://no.no.com rade

    So does this mean that Celtics are the “world champions”?

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    KG and Allen on letterman tonight

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Will KG sleep before the draft? Yes/no?

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    Probably during the draft

  • NZ Baller

    So much heart, I sehd a tear when KG was giving his post-match with Tafoya.

    Yeah…I said it, lol

  • NZ Baller


  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    KG was awesome. Ray Allen grabbed the monkey. DOUBLE P was MVPierce.

  • riggs

    i wanna hear more about his girl tbh

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Great column, Lang.

  • John D

    RV, Dana works with the Celts.

  • celtics=champs

    Game 6 of the NBA finals, and ultimately an elimination game for the LA Lakers and they lose by 39 points?!! What’s this where’s Kobe? Where’s the rest of the squad they didn’t even put up a fight they gave the celts banner #17. Glad the C’s won but LA is supposed to put up a better fight than this. Although its hard when your star player AKA Kobe Bryant is shut down by the styfiling Celtic defense. Glad Celts won. Celtics=champs

  • celtics=champs

    I’m happy for the big ticket. He finally beat the bully up, as he said in the press conference after the game.

  • http://canadianballer.blogspot.com/ Karma

    Regarding Kobe, I think what people forget is that the dude is essentially playing with a BROKEN pinky, and has been since around April, I believe. That is not exactly easy to do, and on top of the injury, there is also an immense amount of psychological and media-related pressure involved. I don’t think it’s that Kobe Bryant cracked under the pressure, but you have to remember that this Lakers team is young. Pau Gasol is amazingly inexperienced in the playoffs, and hadn’t won a playoff game, let alone a series, before coming to the Lakers. I think this Lakers team will be much stronger next year.

    One thing that annoys me about Lakers fans is thier knee-jerk reactions to things. I remember reading lakersblog.com late last night and atleast 20 of the comments revolved around “trade Pau Gasol”. WTF? I don’t think some of these fans realize how lucky the Lakers were to even make it this far, considering the positions they were in last year at this point. I know that’s just one fan, but there are plenty of people like him that I know…basically, idiots who believe that fixing every problem with a trade after a bad performance is the best way to go.

    The only player o nthe Lakeshow that I don’t like is Space Cadet. He is seriously lost out there half the time, and I don’t think he should have played as much as he did. Granted, he is somewhat of a big body needed for an already undersized Lakers team, but the guy’s contributions are far less than the amount of damage he does to the team. I know a lot of people hate him, but I absolutely love Vujacic. The guy is fearless out there, and you have to remember that this is the same kid who two years ago would never get burn because he just couldn’t knock down shots in a game…and here he is now, known as a sharpshooter. I don’t doub any of these Lakers players, they’re all still young and if they got this far on thier first try, then the future looks pretty damn bright.

    And oh yeah, to all the people saying that Kobe is a loser, overrated, etc: The guy was projected to either be traded or not make the playoffs at all. He finished the season as an MVP, a member of the All-NBA and All-NBA-defensive first teams, and was the main reason why the Lakers made it as far as they did. Granted, they didn’t win the ultimate prize, but you’re kidding me if you don’t think the Lakers didn’t learn from this experience. You have to fail before you win….just ask KG, Allen and Pierce.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Great points, Karma.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    Lang, i was hoping you’d give some insight regarding to my lakers/hawks vs. celtics question up there. because it completely baffles me that celts took it so hard to the lakers but had so much trouble with the hawks.

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    Karma, a broken pinky is going to bother Kobe more on a dunk or block than it will dribbling or shooting. The pinky didn’t take away his swagger or quickness. It didnt even appear to bother his shooting, the celtics D was the problem. Also, Gasol has played in big games (possibly even bigger to him since he’d play for his country and with friends)for years now, He’s been the go to guy before, he’s stepped up, he did well in pressure situations at the end of the season and in the playoffs, once again, it was the celtics D that baffled him the most.

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    And the fan reaction applies to all teams, not just laker fans, i’ve seen my share of “trade tmac”, “trade yao”, “fire Adelman” comments this year, some people just dont understand.

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    The lakers will learn from this, no doubt, as will Kobe, but you have to wonder if they even deserved to be here, its possible they just had favorable matchups in the playoffs. If thats the case, then they might be setting themselves up for a huge disappointment next year, they might win it all, but very well may not even make it to the conf finals. if they face this same Celtic team i dont see how they could win, even with Bynum.

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    albie, i didnt see enough of the hwaks series to know if it was a mtchup problem, but i think it was just confidence/momentum. The young hawks had nothing to lose and just swung without giving a f*ck. Boston was caught sleeping and couldn’t recover fully, but were too strong to lose. The hawks also actually have a similar lineup that has size/speed/athleticism that not many teams have. Its like that young kid at the playground who’s got the skills and handles to give you a good scare, but the experience and a level-head always prevails.

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    and finally, sasha does have the confidence one needs to play alongside Mr Kobe Bryant, but it sometimes will transform to big-headedness and get him into trouble, i am not sure he’ll ever be able to control it.

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    and if any of that doesnt make sense or sounds funny thank WordPress, i only had to rewrite it 50 billion times for it to finally go through.

  • http://canadianballer.blogspot.com/ Karma

    RV, good points. I don’t agree with saying the the Lakers didn’t “deserve” to be here, but rather were not “supposed” to be here. There is a difference. How can you not deserve to be in the NBA Finals when you played as well as the Lakers did in the playoffs? Here is my take on this Lakers team in regards to next year, I covered it more on my blog, but here is the fundamental point I’m trying to make:

    Among other things, I think the most important lesson that Kobe – and the Lakers as a whole – learned is this: failure.

    The Lakers failed….and they failed miserably. However, people seemed to have forgotten that this inexperienced Lakers team had to defeat gigantic demons such as the Jazz and the Spurs (not exactly easy teams) in order to get to the point they did. It is something that they should be commended for.

    This Lakers team was not supposed to be here. Kobe Bryant was not supposed to be in Los Angeles, nor was he supposed to be the MVP. The Lakers bench was not supposed to be considered one of the best benches during the regular season, and throughout most of the playoffs. Lamar Odom was not supposed to have a great year. Andrew Bynum was not supposed to be a force, and the Lakers were not supposed to make the playoffs. While they clinched the playoffs, they were not supposed to be the number one team in the West in a year where every seed won over 50 games. The Lakers were not supposed to get past the Jazz. Or the Spurs. When they were finally SUPPOSED to beat the Celtics, they melted. But that’s okay. They were not supposed to be here. Next year, they are.

    Failure teaches you a lot of things, and it introduces you to a lot of things; namely motivation, desire, and hunger. In sports, failure is perhaps the greatest thing that could happen to a player or a team, because when you fail, you want to never experience that feeling again. When you lose by 39 AND lose your championship dreams at the same time, you DEFINETLY don’t want to experience that feeling again. Success can never come without tasting failure first, and it tastes that much sweeter when you eventually overcome your adversities….just ask KG, Pierce and Allen.

  • http://canadianballer.blogspot.com/ Karma

    Sorry if that post sounded the same as the other write-up I did about 3 posts ago. That post actually gave me the idea for the blog-thread I just wrote regarding the Lakers, and the above was basically my finished thoughts on why I believe this experience is more benificiary than anything else. It’s a step forward in my opinion…not just for Kobe, but for the Lakers in general. You guys need to read this article:


    It’s written by the guy who runs freedarko.com….excellent, excellent peice.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    The Lakers need a couple (minimum two) grizzled old vets who can keep the locker room together, lay a hit on someone and come in and hit a couple of shots when things are getting loose. Derek Fisher is that type of guy, but as a starter he has other responsibilities. They need that P.J. Brown type–every champion has one. Imagine if they had Alonzo Mourning on their bench instead of Chris Mihm?

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Also, agree wholeheartedly with a lot that’s already been said.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Yeah, but there’s no way Zo could’ve compiled 2 fouls, 1 turnovers and an airball in 3 minutes.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Chris Mihm is a unique talent. A rare flower. One of the ten best centers in the NBA.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Well said Russ. nice to look back on things after they’ve been said. Comments have been much better here than for a while.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    In no particular order

  • Swellhead

    Congrats to the Celts but they just do not excite me in any way. So with apologies to Drew… It’s a shame Bynum got injured having shown so much progress in such a short space of time. At this early stage in his career it is a double blow as he’s lost the opportunity to get games under his belt and the experience that comes with them. If he’d been playing all season who knows? Next year though, Pau moves to the 4, Lamar to the 3, Vlad to the end of the bench and DFish to the coaching staff. What LA could really do with is a real point guard who can dish, knock down an open 3 and play hard-nosed defence. Maybe the Pistons implode over the summer and Chauncey fancies a suntan?

  • http://phoenixsunsrising.blogspot.com/ Hersey

    The Celtics were pretty impressive this season and Game 6 was the exclamation point.

    I find it funny everyone is so ready to anoint the Lakers the next dynasty. Bynum played well for half a season before a knee injury and when he returns he’s the missing link to a title? That’s a big stretch. It took Amare two years to fully recover from his knee surgeries and he couldn’t get a WCF team any further when he returned.

    In the West, veteran clubs will retool with youth and the emerging clubs will get better with experience. Kobe was great this year but he couldn’t unleash the Mamba on a superior team. Teams have tape and I’m willing to bet we’ll see some new schemes in the West next year.

    Simply losing in the Finals and getting Bynum back won’t make them better next year. They need to make some personnel adjustments, develop better chemistry and pray for good health like everyone else.

  • Diogo

    So…now comes the boring part, between late June and early November…

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    swellhead- thats what Fish does already. Do you not watch the games?
    Hersey- Im willing to bet that getting to the finals and beating powerhouses in Utah and the defending champions does a lot to make a team better. They whipped Denvers @ss who play fast and no D, then it took them only 1 extra to beat the slowest, grind it out team in the league who play excellent D. I reckon that’ll do wonders for confidence. Chemistry comes with time and veteran players, the lakers are built to win now and into the future, a couple of savvy vets wont hurt though. If you’ve got a decent bench and the average age for them is 24 then you have the potential to be a contender for years to come. And the MVP, despite whats been said is still the most talented, best player in the game. Not every team has KG, in fact its only one so getting to the tin isnt such an issue against other opponents. Your better than that.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Do the Celtics repeat? Will they remain hungry and willing to sacrifice? Who replaces PJ Brown and do Perkins and Rondo commit to improving in the offseason? Can Ray Allen and KG continue to get along off the court despite their differences? When does Allen Iverson get his damn championship? These are all questions that need to be discussed.

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    Allenp, are you being a bit sarcastic there? the only real problem you mentioned is replacing Brown, if he doesn’t come back.

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    I’d like Caron back. A lot.

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    Karma, The nuggets, well, they’re the nuggets, the Jazz, i think, were overrated, yes they are good, but they were inconsistent during the season and Boozer was playing like crap the whole playoffs. I dont think LA was the underdog at all. Houston took Utah to 6, the lakers weren’t losing to that team. The spurs were the only team they face who were legit contenders, but the spurs didn’t matchup well with their size and speed. I guess you can say they deserved to be there since they beat who they were supposed to. Failure can push you to succeed, but it can also break you. We’ll have to wait and see which one happens to the Lakers’ supporting cast. Even the celtic’s big 3 didnt have that type of failure in the playoffs before, both Kobe and Fisher have. (2004 finals). If those two guys couldnt play well or at least their usual after such failure, i dont thinnk the rest of the lakers will do much better next year. For all we know Bynum may choke in the playoffs next year and pull a Gasol, he’s never experienced ANYTHING. ESPN kept saying the Lakers would be back, but i dont think its that simple or that much of a lock. Can the laker’s get past a suns team who’s just as long and athletic? Neither plays D so its down to who flows better offensively, no one can score like Kobe, but the suns have a better flow to their team offense. Can the lakers get past houston AND SA? Both play great D similar to Boston. Houston should be fully recovered and is very actively pursuing another weapon, especially a 6-6 or 6-7 wing player who can defend and score. That means Battier won’t be the only available to defend Kobe. I’m not even sure the spurs even need anyone else. They’re really good at going back home, figuring teams out and going right back to the top again. However, they should still be able to attract a solid player.

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    one more thing, i’m not sure guys like shasha, turiaf, radman, and maybe ariza can actually improve. i think they pretty muchhit they’re ceiling as far as skills are concerned, mentally perhaps they can get stronger, but that’s only going to help them be more efficient in what they already do and not actually do more.

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    Off season unrestricted FA wishlist for the Celtics: Corey Maggette………..for the lakers: Najera

  • ciolkstar

    As soon as the game ended last night, I got a text from a friend that said “Worst Finals Ever.” I didn’t even respond, because they weren’t the worst Finals ever, not even close — heck, last year’s Finals were way worse. Still, I know it’s cool to complain, to say the games sucked, whatever. But I don’t think that should tarnish the C’s win. The Celts did what there were asked to do. The NBA put a series of teams before them, and the Celts beat all of them. And then last night, they frigging snapped the Lakers’ necks. If there was any doubt about which team was better, the Lakers or the Celtics, the Celtics answered if definitively in Game Six.

    THANK YOU! I’m a Spurs fan so last year’s Finals were great for me. But i have really gotten tired of all the complaioning about this series. The Lakers didn’t show up but, all the bullsh*t aside, this was a GREAT year for NBA fans. Congrats to the Cs!

  • ciolkstar

    Im confused by the discussion of KGs new girl…who is she?

  • http://jaredmintzisthetruth,blogspot.com Jared

    No chance the Celts repeat…they won’t even be the best team in the East next year

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    jared, enlighten us as to who WILL be the best team then.

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    ciolkstar, i dont believe its an actual girl, i cant remember where that started, but he’s refering to basketball.

  • http://jaredmintzisthetruth.blogspot.com Jared

    Cavs? I don’t know…I just don’t think it’ll be the celtics. They had a great season, not tryna take anything away from them, but they’re all just another year older, the chip is off their shoulders, the hunger won’t be there.

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    its possible they wont repeat, but its very possible they’ll be the best in the east, no one is even close except for detroit and they may blow things up. Cavs are stuck running in quicksand. They’re gonna be older, but its not going to slow them down since everyone on that team (except cassell) has at at least one more yr in them playing at the same level. Its been a while since a team has repeated like back in the 90s, you need to show you can come back and do it again so there’s no way anyone can hate. The only knock on the spurs is they cant repeat. i think they’ll come back just as hungry, but this time with even more confidence.

  • B. Long

    Is it football season yet?

  • tealish

    Who’s your team, B.Long? Laker fan, I am guessing either Cowboys or Giants.

  • Harlem_World

    How can you say they aren’t in pole position to repeat? At this point (prior to any blockbuster moves around the draft) everything points to a Lakers/Celtics Finals repeat next year. With Bynum back, more experience for the Lakers, should be a better series – but I still see the Celtics winning it again. Not necessarily just for the big 3, but because of the coming of age of Rondo, Perk, Powe, Allen (if he stays), Big Baby and whatever House has left to give. It’s the increased contributions of the bench and support players that will get them back to the summit next year. Most important of all of them, Rondo. He’s still so young, now has a ring and has always been a tough defender with distribution skills. If he ever learns to shoot – you may well see a 3peat with this squad.

  • Slobodan Chutzpah

    “Worst Finals ever”? That is about the most moronic thing I’ve ever heard. If you don’t like how these Celtics play, you don’t like basketball. Pure and simple. Showboating, no-defense teams that everyone seems to love, such as Phoenix and Denver, are for kids and casual fans.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Mavs wont make the playoffs, Denver has a major trade (again), the Wiz change it all for one big shot this season, Spurs bring Splitter over and play a lil faster (or not), Amare averages 24 a game, Nash plays even less defence and the rockets break the 1st round with a healthy team. (Last one is most important)

  • http://www.rockets.com RV

    Tiago isn’t coming over Hursty, at least not this upcoming season