Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This Year's Boston Celtics

I have never been a Boston Celtics fan, but this past off-season, in a gutsy move to make fans everywhere but Boston green with envy, they went and got themselves two superstars (and two of my favorite players) Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

Kevin Garnett is arguably the best player in the world and has been for about five years. Most people don't know this (in fact, I bet most of my readers who don't follow the NBA have never even heard of him) because for twelve years -- his entire professional career as well as his whole adult life (he was 19 when drafted) -- KG has been stranded in Minnesota, which has never been able to give him good teammates. He seems like a good guy and he brings an intensity and a desire to win that epitomize professional sports at their best. In a moving interview with John Thompson a couple of years ago, he broke down crying in frustration with the 'Wolves.

Ray Allen, meanwhile, is probably the best pure shooter in the game and I've always had a soft spot for guys who could make the J look so easy. (I was a huge fan of Reggie Miller.) Besides, how many NBA players not only starred in a movie, but starred in a pretty good movie?

Garnett and Allen join Paul Pierce (who is almost as good as Kobe Bryant, statistically speaking) and a decent supporting cast to form the most exciting Celtics team since the Bird years. It's sure going to be fun to watch.

7 comments:

Ezzie said...

I'm still trying to figure out how the Cavs lost nothing yet somehow are predicted to miss the playoffs and be under .500.

I don't get how people aren't putting money on them winning the East, if only because they're getting amazing odds.

Nephtuli said...

Garnett is a great player, the best big man not named Tim Duncan, and probably the best player in the East because he actually plays defense.

If the Celtics end up with a decent supporting cast and stay healthy, they're the best team in the East by far. I don't think they can beat the really good teams out West though.

Ezzie,

Who's picking the Cavs to miss the playoffs? I haven't been following the NBA previews closely, but I can't name 8 teams that are better, especially now that Pavlovic has signed.

Jewish Atheist said...

Ezzie:

Yeah, the Cavs are definitely in the playoffs, barring a major injury of course. This guy has them at 3 or 4 in the East, but says they're a little worse if they don't sign Varejao.

Nephtuli said...

JA,

I just spent the last hour perusing the Wages of Wins site. It's a very good site, and I'm happy that sabermetrics are catching on in other sports.

When it comes to the KG vs. Duncan debate, they argue that KG has been the most productive player in the league for years. The problem is that, unlike baseball, basketball is much more difficult to quantify because there are so many moving parts. That's especially true about defense, which is often not recorded numerically besides for blocks and steals, which leave a very incomplete picture. John Hollinger of ESPN calls defense "a black box."

Duncan also plays less minutes than Garnett intentionally, because the team is more focused on the playoffs than the regular season. Minnesota did not have that option, because Garnett had a poor supporting cast (partially because his cap number was so big). Minutes played are an important part of a player's value, as a player cannot be valuable on the bench. But they don't say a lot about how "good" a player is especially when he is intentionally playing less minutes to help the team down the road.

Duncan and KG are the best two PFs in the NBA and have been since Malone retired.

Scott said...

I think the Celtics are going to be the biggest disappointment of the year. I've seen them picked to make it to the Finals and I don't see them making it out of the second round if they don't get knocked out in the first.

Their bench is one of the worst in the league and it usually takes teams a coupla years playing together before they make a championship run.

Jack's Shack said...

KG has been stranded in Minnesota, which has never been able to give him good teammates.

Not true. KG had a number of very good teammates. He played with Marbury, Cassell and Guggliotta among others.

He just got stuck in a conference that was loaded with better teams, such as The Lakers.

But now he plays for the hated celtics in the division known as The Least where one good player is enough to put you in the second round.

And it is only because of collusion among celtics that he got traded to the JV league.

breatnyS said...

Good defense by the Boston Celtics drama boys, if only we could patch up the difference, this will be a Boston good season. They are running, switching in defense, rebounding see those efforts. We don't have yet the Celtics team down.

I which I could see some Celtics games live. I was looking for tickets all the good seats on ticketmaster were taken I had to check broker. And man you don’t want to do that espaciallyn for the Boston Celtics. Thanks god there sites like Ticketwood which work as comparators here is the site
Celtics tickets
http://www.ticketwood.com/nba/Boston-Celtics-Tickets.php.

I like slam dunks that take me to the
hoop my favorite play is the ally-hoop,
I like the pic n roll,i like the given goal its basketball yo, yo lets go!
Go Celtics Go!!!