The Celtics are playing their best basketball since the Finals two years ago and are suddenly in the championship conversation again. We knew they had this in them the whole year, but I for one thought they might have become too content with just one title. Now it finally looks like they they are hungry for that 18th banner.
It's the little things the Celtics are doing that are really impressing me. Whether it be running over as a team to help up Rondo after a tough fall, moving the ball around with crispness and fluidity, or gathering together on the court to discuss strategy, you can just tell they are locked in. I think the KG factor is huge as well. Just having KG on the court was not enough for the Celtics. They needed him to get back to the KG of old. The fact is, as great of a leader as Garnett is, it's hard to take the lead from someone who isn't one of your best players. While he's still not as explosive as he was in 2008, he's the closest he's been to that level in awhile.
The biggest reason Ubuntu is back is because the Big 3 has embraced Rondo as their leader. He is no longer on the outside looking in, but one of them. At the beginning of the season it looked like Perk and Rondo were on one side and the Big 3 were on the other. Whether that was just a rumor or not, they've been able to work through their issues and are clearly all on the same page now.
The playoffs are called the second season in sports. In no league does this hold true more than the NBA. The regular season means very little in basketball because of the number of teams that make the playoffs. Now you can see why the Celtics may have been bored and saving their energy for the stretch run. This Boston team was assembled for the playoffs and are showing why right now.
A lot of people like to say they are only content with a championship and that the Celtics didn't accomplish anything by beating the Cavs. I disagree. If you had told me a month ago we'd have beaten the Cavs and been 3 games away from the NBA finals I would've laughed at you. Who could have predicted this after the inconsistency we saw this season. Now that I see what we are capable of the expectations are back. I fully expect the Celtics to beat the Magic in 6 and advance to the finals in June. Let's hope the Celtics never forget Ubuntu again. Karl Dillinger 5/18/2010 01:56:00 PM Tweet