8.28.2008

Gnashing_of_Teeth.com

Things were pretty quiet on the first anniversary of the Bob Ryan “Sky is Falling” column from last August. If you are disinclined to read the column, let me summarize. The 2007-2008 Boston Celtics boiled down to a three-man show, and even that three man show was comprised of aging and injured players.

The rest of the team?

Well, it consisted of young, unproven, overrated, and mediocre talent that wouldn’t strike fear in a high school team, much less the Detroit Pistons or San Antonio Spurs. Ryan then went on the talk-show circuit to drive home the point, the point being that once you get past the top three players, the Celtics roster represented the biggest drop-off in talent in NBA history.

With the summer of 2008 now winding down, some things have changed for the Boston Celtics and some things have stayed about the same. What’s changed is that the Boston Celtics are now the World Champs. Kendrick Perkins is one of the most feared defenders in the pivot, while Rajon Rondo is a terror on the court when he’s got it going.

What’s the same is that the Celtics, again, don’t have James Posey on the roster (at the time Ryan wrote his column, Posey was still a free agent). What’s also the same is that their Celtics roster is riddled with question marks. Celtics message boards were surprisingly quiet after we initially lost Nails. Maybe people were still intoxicated from celebrating Banner 17 to get too upset.

I don’t know.

The addition of Patrick O’Bryant to replace P.J. Brown also didn’t send temperatures off the charts. Resigning Tony Allen and Eddie House were largely viewed as positive moves.

Just to show how na├»ve I am, the balmy temperatures across Celtic Nation actually convinced me that we had matured as a people. The grueling 2007-08 campaign that started in August and ended in June had somehow taught us all to chill. You know, the season is long, and has it’s ups and downs. So no need to go apoplectic in August or September.

Alas, the Darius Miles signing disabused me of that notion.

It’s not so much that I disagree with the concerns raised by my siblings in Celtics Nation (though I do wonder why they get all worked up over a guy who isn’t guaranteed any money). In fact, I agree with some of the concerns. I did my usual scouring of newspapers from the last five years, and couldn’t find more than one or two favorable clippings about Mr. Darius. Everything else was a downer.

My real concern is over the manner in which those concerns are raised. It’s one thing to point out that the Celtics bench doesn’t appear to be as strong as it was last season, but totally another to declare that we’ve taken a step or two backward and Danny Ainge has failed. Even after we signed Posey, I remember fans questioning whether Posey was really 6’8” or more like 6’6”, and then casting doubt on those who claimed he had shut down Dirk in the Finals. It was another guy on the Heat roster, they said.

The same fans would then latch on to what Bob Ryan wrote, only in more hysterical terms. Eddie House couldn’t dribble the ball. Powe and Big Baby were severely undersized and wouldn't be able to get their shots off. Tony Allen, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen were all overcoming major injuries, and might not be able to play effectively until December, if then. Kevin Garnett had played more minutes and more games in his career than players 3, 4, and 5 years older than him, and the extra wear and tear was about to catch up with him. Doc sucked in general, and couldn’t win big games or make in-game adjustments in particular. The list was long and the despair was dark.

Turns out it was all a bunch of hot hair and wasted breath. Concern over nothing.

Which leads me to the question of the day:

Why waste your breath over falling acorns until we’ve seen the finished product on the court and the Green has lost a game or two?

Why not sit back, favorite beverage in hand, and chill?

Maybe pop in one of those DVDs from the June coronation and relive the celebration known as the 2008 NBA Finals.

Grinding your teeth just isn’t healthy.

Just look at Bob Ryan. Everything turned out OK for him.

Heck, he now thinks the 2007-08 Boston Celtics are the second best Celtics team of all time.

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