"If you know the enemy and you know yourself, you need not fear the result of hundred battles"
And yet, we definitely do not care about our record, our playoff seed or the value of home court advantage.
For we know who we are. The Celtics are the team in the league that better knows who they are and act accordingly so. We know that if we show who we are and we do it consistently we will win the championship. Yes, you read it well. If the Celtics live up to the matter living inside their sport cells, blood and hearts we are the candidate number one to be the last team standing by the end of June.
We have a true chance to get Banner 18.
Let me remind you who we are:
Paul Pierce has had another superb season at age 35. Since the Garnett era he has shown a huge ability to adapt his game to the needs of his team. With Rondo forced to sit out until Training Camp, Pierce has been the conductor of this orchestra. He has done it all for this team and has been a factor in every category of the team. He has had averages of 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists in a total of 77 games in the season. He has been kept his body as healthy as it can be and he always plays well against the Knicks.
Kevin Garnett has been preserved all season and particularly in the last few weeks to make him work at maximum speed in the playoffs. KG has had another All Star season in limited time on the floor (less than 30 minutes per game, averaging 15 points and 8 rebounds). Garnett is a monster and represents everything that the Celtics are: the passion, the talent, the team work and the glory of representing the Celtics green. Remember, KG could have easily left for the 4th seeded Clippers in February and retire in the peaceful beaches of Malibu right after but he decided to represent the hopes, dreams and pride of all Celtic nation. In his sixth season in Boston he will lead us deep into the playoffs, certainly providing his best against Carmelo and the Knicks. Mentally KG controls Melo and has an edge on him. With KG we will prevail against NY.
The young, hot blooded and hungry ones
Avery Bradley is the next one in the group. After missing the first 30 games of the season, Bradley was an inspiration in defense and gave a new dimension to the team. He and KG are the bosses of the defense and he has a mission in target: to redeem himself and prove that the Celtics could have beaten the Heat last year if he had not been injured. Avery has averaged 9 points, 2 assists and 1 steal per game this year. He will become more important even in the playoffs.
Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee haven't had their best career seasons, becoming the stars of trade scenarios for fans around the world. That may have affected their performances because we can honestly say that Brandon's best perfomances came after the deadline passed. In the last few weeks we have welcomed the Bass from the previous season. That is a player that has read the game in a much wiser manner and takes advantage of the spaces created by others and by his physical abilities and soft shooting touch. In the end he averaged 9 points and 5 rebounds for the Celtics and his rising game will be needed during the Playoffs. As for Lee, he had very good games when coupled his defensive prowess with Avery Bradley in a fiery tandem. In the offense he still needs to assert himself in the system, but his athletic abilities will deliver when the legs of older players get heavier. He is an athletic specimen and his 8 points per game will add to the bench production. Both Bass and Lee are hungry to prove they belong to the present and future of this team.
The horsemen from the Far East
Terrence Williams is a freaky physical specimen. He can play both guard positions and has showed us in 24 games that he can be a quality back up for Rajon Rondo next season (5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists per game). He has discovered himself and his best game in his short tenure in Boston. Keep an eye on him because he will have an important role during the next games.
Shavlik Randolph has been this year's version of Greg Stiemsma. I actually expected him to play much less than he has done, but the guy has played way beyond the expected. In 16 games he has had averages of 4 points and 4 rebounds. He had a 16 point, 7 rebounds performance against the Cavs at the beginning of the month. Intriguing, very intriguing player for the Celtics that is tough as nails and will be needed against teams with lots of players in the paint.
DJ White has had little time to show what he's got, but he can eventually be handy deeper in the playoffs. His presence won't hurt at the end of the bench (2 points, 1 rebounds in 12 games for the Celtics).
The X Factors
here before, Terry will be a huge X factor in the playoffs. At age 35 he must have kept his best for now, and he will be a dagger from the bench in crunch time. Offensively he will be needed more than ever and we know he will bring it in the next weeks.
Finally we have Chris Wilcox, a player that hasn't had an impressive season for us. He hasn't been able to shake off his inconsistent label that has followed him for a long time. Let's remember that this is a player that was the 8th pick of the 2002 draft and that averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds for the Sonics in 2005/06. His lack of regular production almost lead him to be traded to Washington in February, but the Wizards finally were happy to net Jason Collins from us. Wilcox faces a crucial moment in his NBA career: at age 30 and playing with a minimum contract after his heart surgery last year he will play his first career playoffs after 628 regular season games. He will need to improve his production of 4 points and 3 rebounds in order to extend his career in the Celtics next year. He has the talent and the body to do it. We know he will finally do it in a new universe for him: the playoffs at the jungle, the Boston Garden.
We know who we are, and we know who the rest are. There are no secrets out there. We know Melo is a very good scoring player but that is not in the same league as Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett even now at their late stage of their careers. We know Indiana is a heck of a team and that will be tougher than ever,but we all know this team and this league is waiting for our matchup with the Miami Heat. And then, this team will be ready to fight until the end.
And this team knows, as well as we know, that the Celtics are meant to win Banner 18.
Bring it on, let's be ourselves.
Let's show our true face.
Let's be the Boston Celtics
Bohemian 4/18/2013 06:15:00 AM Tweet