Do the Celtics have something to prove this year?

Last year the Celtics had a bulls eye on them every game. They were not only the defending champions, but a team that seemed to have an arrogance about them that ticked off the rest of the league. In their championship run of 2007-2008 they definitely had something to prove. The general thinking was that the big 3 was past there prime and could not sacrifice their individual statistics for the good of the team.

We all saw how that turned out. But what will be the attitude of this year's team? Will they have that same us against the world mentality of 2008? Or will they have the arrogance of 2008-2009? I'm thinking a little bit of both. With all the big offseason additions, the Celtics will have to prove that they are still at the top of the East, but they still should feel supremely confident that they got within a game of the Eastern Conference Finals without Garnett. A lot has been said about how Rondo will handle the trade talks of last offseason, but I think it will light a fire under him and drive him to be even better than last year. In addition, Rasheed has to prove he has something left, and Garnett has to prove he is still the dominant player he was before the injury.

Teams will get up for the Celtics, defending champions or not. I think the team, especially the big 3, realize that one championship is not nearly enough to put them in the same discussion with other Celtics legends. They realize there is a window, and that window is now. They need to prove that 2008 wasn't an aberration, but rather last year was an aberration. I look forward to Banner #18 rising up to the rafters come June.