When they have all the pieces together...

We all have different reasons for why we love the Celtics, whether it is from back in the glory days of the 80's, this recent three plus years of amazing basketball or somewhere in between. One thing is clear about this team, when all the pieces are in place,  the starting five, the closing five and the bench mob make this team as enjoyable to watch as possible.

We always see the stats and graphics put up about Shaq, KG, Ray and Pierce being the only group of four players to play on same team who are in the 20,000 point club. That achievement is a great one, which obviously represents their tremendous individual talents and work ethics, but what they have been able to achieve together along with Rajon Rondo is becoming more and more special. With Kendrick Perkins and Delonte West hopefully returning within the next four to six weeks this team is about to enter another category, but it starts with the starting five on the court, together, healthy and clicking.

The option of being able to establish Shaquille O'Neal in the post to start each and every game to draw attention and to put the other team in the penalty early on is a terrific option for this team. Add in the Big Shamrock's ability to pass out of the post and present himself just at the right time around the basket to finish on Rondo dribble penetration or KG's precise interior  passing and the Celtics have endless options offensively. What gets overlooked from time to time with the starters is the patience that Paul Pierce continues to display. What Pierce brings to this team every night is so much more than numbers. His calmness out there and ability to let the game come to him and involve his teammates before he looks for his own on many nights goes grossly unnoticed. It was definitely a key last night as he deferred to Ray Allen who is playing some special basketball right now.

When it comes down to the stretch of games having one of the premier bench players in the league to finish along side KG up front has become a Celtic staple. Glen Davis is growing up in front of our eyes and hopefully there will be a way to keep him in Boston for the long run. His ability to guard bigger post players, clean up the offensive glass, knock down the open 17 footer and of course take the charge have made him such a valuable piece to this team. With KG back there is really no way to keep this team from getting whatever shot they want down the stretch. That is a credit to both the players and of course the staff. Ever notice whatever set they run in a big moment in the game is layered with endless options?
If option one or two doesn't present itself right away there is no panic, instead there is simply a ball reversal and two more options to follow to get someone a good scoring opportunity. If you are an NBA League Pass subscriber like I am, you probably watch a fair amount of other teams aside from the Celtics. While so many teams are still trying to play iso ball or run a ton of screen rolls, the Celtics simply run the best sets from start to finish and execute them in the best manor out of any team in the league.  (We know it helps that they have tremendous talent and basketball IQ)

The teamwork since 2008 has been a contagious thing that started with UBUNTU, but who knew it would last thing long, through roster changes, growth of young talent, injuries and the way last season ended. From Rondo to Shaq to Marquis to the Big Three and the rest of the squad the Boston Celtics are looking more and more like the team that will capture banner 18. Lets keep the faith, keep the health and keep this green train moving.