Its that time of year again! The NBA is on its way back. While you video game heads got NBA 2K8 and NBA Live 2008 (though I dont see why youd want that game) getting hyped up for the upcoming season, Ill let you know who got better over the offseason, who got worse, and what to expect from your favorite teams this season. For some, the eyes remain on the NBA Championship;for others, its merely just going to be a slow march to the lottery.
People can finally stop speculating over the impressive draft class in 2007 and stop wondering how Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen will fare in Beantown. Well finally get to see Allen Iversons long awaited return to Philadelphia as a Nugget, KGs emotional return to Minnesota, the state that he called home for the last 12 years, and for all you Lakers fans out there, Chris Mihm! Instead of predicting MVPs, Rookie of the Year candidates, or who you should draft first in your fantasy leagues (hint: Rajon Rondo = sleeper, bet that), we present The NBA 2007/2008 Season Preview, coming to you daily, beginning with the Atlantic Division and the Boston Celtics.
Projected Starting Lineup:
C Kendrick Perkins
PF Kevin Garnett
SF Paul Pierce
SG Ray Allen
PG Rajon Rondo
Coach: Doc Rivers
The good news: Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett have made Boston a relevant basketball city again.
Before these trades, some writers were labeling the Celtics as the Clippers East, the team for some reason nobody wanted to play for anymore despite its rich history. Its funny how a couple of deals could turn Danny Ainge from failure to runaway offseason GM winner. Although some criticize Ainge for trading tons of potential in the KG trade (most notably forward Al Jefferson), if there was ever a time to cash in your potential for a chance at a ring, now is the time to do it. Ray Allen, KG, and Paul Pierce on the same team is the type of stuff you would only be able to pull off in a video game. Now you get to see them wear the same uniform. The Celtics are now one of the hottest tickets in town and jerseys are flying off of the racks (yours truly is the first one to have a KG home Celtics jersey, just ask anybody in the NBA Store!). With savvy veterans such as James Posey and Scot Pollard rushing to sign there, the pieces are set to make a championship run for a long time.
The bad news: One injury could turn them into the Denver Nuggets. Two injuries renders this experiment a failure.
Although on paper it was worth it to trade the young talent, rather than trading Paul Pierce and beginning a painful yet possibly productive rebuilding process, Celtics brass is banking on this team being the team to win it all. Nobody knows whether it will come to fruition. They are also relying heavily on 2nd year player Rajon Rondo to be the PG for this team and center Kendrick Perkins to overcome inconsistency to just exist alongside the new Big Three. Health is the most important thing for this team. Although KG is an ironman, Allen and Pierce have had injury troubles lately. Staying healthy will maximize the teams efforts to win. A major injury forces them to go a thin bench for help.
The outlook: 2nd Seed in the Eastern Conference, winning the Atlantic Division, getting to the NBA Finals.