Finals or Bust!
The Boston Celtics Express was full speed ahead on the way to back-to-back championships until a key injury derailed them. Emotional leader and former league MVP C Kevin Garnett suffered a debilitating knee injury at the end of the regular season which kept him out of the playoffs a year ago. The Cs, being the champs that they are, fought gallantly, but were upended by the Magic, proving that the Garnett loss was too much to bear. After a summer of rehabilitation, “The Big Ticket” seems to be getting back to full speed, which is the best news any Boston fan could ask for (not including the return of Larry Bird, of course). Along with Garnett, this is the best starting five in the NBA today. Perennial All Stars SG Ray Allen and SF Paul Pierce can both take over a game at any notice. Whether it’s the sweet stoke of Allen from beyond the arc, or the take no prisoners attacking of Pierce, this duo can be counted upon to put pressure on any defense and light up the scoreboard in a hurry. Point Guard Rajon Rondo stepped up his game big time a season ago. He proved he is a future star in this league by creating open shots for his teammates and finishing strong around the rim. If he can continue to develop his outside game, he’s a lock for many All Star games to come. The big off-season acquisition was getting PF Rasheed Wallace from the Pistons. Sheed still has a lot of gas left in the tank, and brings the swagger of a champion to an already confident locker room. It’s an NBA title or bust for the Celtics this year, no excuses.
Prodigy’s take: A solid team with championship experience and great depth. Wallace will bring that intensity a team needs to sustain an 82-game season, and then the playoffs. Although age is creeping up on them, look for Boston to be in the title hunt all year ’round. Prediction: 1st in Atlantic.