Time to show our true face

"If you know the enemy and you know yourself, you need not fear the result of hundred battles"
                                                                                                                                  Sun Tzu

The Celtics ended their irregular season just a few hours ago in Toronto and they did so by displaying an absolute lack of consistence. The record is 41-40, a proof that we have had as many good moments as rocky ones. It has been a season of several winning streaks and losing ones, a perpetual pulling and pushing of the hearts, brains and guts of players and fans. A season in which our illusions were shadowed by the losses of key players in our star Rajon Rondo, highly promising rookie Jared Sullinger and the instant scoring punch from Leandro Barbosa.

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:

The Core

The Celtics heart and soul is represented by one of the best coaches in the league, particularly in the Playoffs. Doc Rivers knows exactly what to do to make the Green Monster work. He has the mental abilities and the teaching skills to be better than any other coach in the league. He knows his team and he will manage it perfectly once again.

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 

We have a whole bunch of very hungry young players in our roster. Surprisingly for me, Jeff Green is at the head of this group of players.Green has emerged as the third most vital player in the team after the injury to Rondo. His rise made the team miss his leader a little less, the instant upgrade in his passion has given him the much needed consistency he always lacked. He has averaged 13 points and 4 rebounds per game, becoming a starter in the process. The Iron Man has been a constant threat for the opponent in the last months, fueled by a new passion for life. He had monster games against Miami, Phoenix and others and has lived up to the contract he signed in the summer. Green is the present and the future in Boston. A beast being molded by the crafts of KG. He will be impressive in the playoffs, in special against the Heat in the Conference Finals.

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.

Jordan Crawford is the next Nate Robinson in disguise. He has so much confidence in himself that it got a little bit the best of him when he played in Washington. With the best teammates and coach in Boston, Crawford can be counted on to provide instant scoring and a fearless approach to the game when the ball starts to burn in your hands. The guy can flat out score the ball. He is young and will get his first career minutes in the playoffs. He has averaged 12 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in the season.

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

We have discovered some very good players from the Chinese league in the last couple of months. The deadline passed and we meet three players that were trying to regain their name far away from home. Two of them (Williams and Randolph) have earned an option to be part of the team after the playoffs.

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

The next two players haven't played as well as expected. The first one is Jason Terry who has delivered the experience and the leadership that we thought he would bring from Dallas but his production on the court hasn't been enough so far. His averages of 10 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists haven't filled up our high hopes when we signed him with the MLE last summer. Truth is, his time is now.As we commented 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.

This year.

Bring it on, let's be ourselves.

Let's show our true face.

Let's be the Boston Celtics