52-30 (Tom), 54-28 (Gil)
Last Year’s Record
Eric Grunfeld’s Commentary
While the summer acquisition of two all-stars in Garnett & Allen has Boston fans thinking Championship, I strongly disagree. The NBA is a league where it takes time to jell and work as a cohesive unit before posting W’s. Ray Allen is not getting any younger and won’t be playing the minutes he used to. The support staff consists of Rajon Rondo, Eddie House, James Posey, Scot Pollard and Brian Scalabrine. Oh, I forgot to mention the intimidating presence of the others: Kendrick Perkins, Esteban Batista and Tony Alllen. Unless Rondo and House have great seasons, the BIG 3 will really have to carry this team.
Don’t get me wrong: the Celtics will be strong this year in a very weak division, but will have trouble with the Cavs, the younger Bulls, and the Heat (if they can stay healthy, but that’s a big “if”). I’d be psyched too, if I was a Bostonian, but this will not be the year they go to the Finals.
After years of Danny Ainge messing with this roster and organization, he pulled the trigger and the excitement for Boston basketball will be back. Barring no injuries this season, expect them to pull away with the Atlantic Division, win the first round of the playoffs, but start having some troubles in round two.
Rejoinder From Tom
Yeah, that sounds about right, although other than Detroit, who are so old I believe they still use James Edwards as the 9th man, and Chicago, where the atomic clock on “physical confrontation with Scott Skiles during a practice” is at 11:58 PM, I’m not sure any other team gets a cohesion through years of playing together advantage. The interesting player to watch will be Garnett, who I think is fully aware his legacy as a player is going to be set in stone over the next 20 months.
Gratuitous Comics Connection
Al Capp of Li’l Abner fame headquartered his Capp Enterprises in Boston.
Gratuitous Pharma Connection
When Novartis decided to build a major R&D campus, it bailed on its Swiss homeland and set up shop in Cambridge, MA.
The Bottom Line
They’ll fall short in the conference finals, unless they’re playing against Detroit. –GR