Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Green Revival: The Beginning of Fall and the Return of “The Big Ticket”

Sept 22nd 2009

Boston athletics seem to have been experiencing a strange fluctuation in the cosmic balance of good and bad as of late. The Sox clinched the Wild Card at the end of September as the Rangers lost to the Angels. Good. This occurred the same cold September night that they lost to the Blue Jays at home. Bad. Tom Brady is healthy and back holding things down in Foxboro, leading the Pats to an early regular season record of 3-1. Good. Tom Brady is healthy and holding things down in Foxboro, leading the Pats to an early regular season record of 3-1. Bad. Wait…the Pats really already lost a game already with Brady? That game was not only to the division rival Jets but the Pats offense couldn’t even put the ball in the end zone? What the hell is going on? Relax, it isn’t so bad; keep in mind we’ve won our last two games since the Jets loss and Tommy’s looking better with every game. Still, September has maintained a strange equilibrium that requires some stability, but don’t worry; it is the beginning of autumn after all.

The leaves will fall, covering up the sidewalks and the loses of old; loses like the Yankee’s four game sweep of the Sox in August and September’s disappointing loss to the Jets. Autumn brings with it the reintroduction of our favorite Patriot’s, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins sweat suits and the re-release of Sam Adam’s Octoberfest. We retain the continuation of football season; hopefully we’ll look on as Brady, Belchichik, Moss and Maroney put up the numbers we’re used to seeing against the Ravens, Titans, Bucs, and Broncos. The fall brings the commencement of postseason baseball and daydreams of watching Papelbon and Youk suiting up in jock straps, dancing like animals beneath a celebratory champagne shower. Yet let us not forget, although the leaves may be changing to browns, oranges and yellows, October still brings with it some Green.

The precursor to winter introduces the beginning of professional basketball season. With the NBA pre-season opening up October 7th finally the sports gods have provided something to bring stability the back to the gravitational shift of the Boston athletic universe. That’s right: it’s the return of the dynasty, the green, the garden, the Truth; October means it’s time for the Celtics to hit the hardwood.

After last year’s disappointing end to the C’s playoff run with a 101-82 blowout at the hands of the Orlando Magic in game 7 in the Eastern Conference Semi Finals; some fans, and even more haters are voicing speculation about this year’s shot at a Championship run for the Celtics. Yet there is overwhelming justification for last year’s loss and plenty of reason to look forward to next season; enough evidence to remove the doubt from the doubters and the smirks from the haters.

To begin with the let’s not forget the fact that the Celtics franchise, with 17 championships under its belt (more than any other team in the league), went 62-20 during the 2008-09 regular season finishing first in the division and second in the conference. They accomplished the best start to a season by any NBA team EVER with a 27-2 record. They averaged 100.9 points per game and held their opponents to 93.4 ppg. This was not a season just to shrug off; the C’s did big things. That being said they still lost to the Magic in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. This is where the aforementioned doubt about the upcoming season comes from, but the loss is equally as justifiable as it was disappointing.

On February 19th, Kevin Garnett suffered a knee injury that would aggravate him throughout the remainder of the regular season. Although he made brief on court appearances throughout March, his influence was minimal and by the end of the month he was out for good; for good means for the rest of the season, playoffs included. Garnett was the heart and soul of the Celtics defensive campaign; although the young guys battled hard to make up for his loss down low there’s no question that the things had changed without the general “holding down the block.”

So the Celts headed into the playoffs without KG around to cause big men across the league to tear up at the thought of “The Big Ticket” swatting their garbage into Donnie Whalberg’s courtside lap; this is the main essentially leads to the Celt’s playoff downfall. Add to the equation an enormous, perhaps superhuman force for the Green’s young guns to match up against and the rest is history. To put this in easier terms to understand; The Celtics lost to the Orlando Magic.

Dwight Howard plays for the Orlando Magic. Dwight Howard is seven feet tall, weighs two hundred and sixty five pounds, and averaged over fifteen rebounds in the playoffs. Dwight Howard’s nickname is Superman. I once saw Dwight Howard request a maintenance team to bring out a twelve foot hoop during a dunk contest so that he could dunk on a twelve foot hoop brought out by a maintenance team. Dwight Howard hammered viciously on that twelve foot hoop. What I’m trying to establish here is that he’s a freak, and even though he’s a freak the Celts still brought him and his squad to seven games in the semis without KG to get in his way.

As stated earlier KG was and is the backbone of the Celtics defense, so it needs to be taken into account the fortitude and depth of the team that made it as far as they did without him. This cast including young names like Big Baby Davis, Kendrick Perkins, Rajon Rondo and veterans like Paul “The Truth” Pierce and Ray “Jesus Shuttleworth” Allen absolutely killed it. Of course a championship would have been nice but there’s always the unimaginable and the unfortunate circumstances that are going inevitably going to result in a loss once in a while. Still, Now that KG’s healthy and everyone’s in full form there’s no reason to consider last year’s season a disappointment or a sign of concern for this year’s run; so put away the tissues and black veils Boston fans it’s a new season and Kryptonite KG is back and ready to battle Superman.

Photo courtesy of

1 comment:

  1. Dwight Howard is an F-ing freak. I know you chopped this down from the longer version but you gotta do another one and mention SHEED, his previous rivalries with the Celtics and his quest for another ring at the end of his career. Will his volatile on court presence compliment Garnett's similar rambunctiousness, or is it going to be a powder keg that Doc will have to defuse? It's gonna be a long season and fun to watch if everyone stays healthy this year. Great article.
    p.s. I will miss Mikey Moore's hair.