Nostradamus Picks the Celtics

I say they win the championship. This is the last roundup for these guys. The three-year window of the Big Three is about to close. It’s highly unlikely that they’ll all still be here, healthy, in any future season.

--Dan Shaughnessy

You remember, Mr. Shaughnessy, right?

Boston Globe, March 16:

“Everybody around here is simply too negative. Not me. I still believe. I don’t care if the Celtics are 2-9 against the Cavaliers, Magic, and Hawks. Seeing them lose at home to the New Jersey Nets doesn’t discourage me. Getting whupped by the Grizz by 20 at the Garden is OK. Sometimes you’ve just got to see the glass as half-full. This is one of those times . . . Count me in. Put me on the Big Green Bus. I believe.’

Boston Globe, April 15:

“This group was ready for the playoffs on Oct. 27. The regular season was little more than a nuisance and they made sure we all knew it. The Celtics went through the motions for 82 games with one goal in mind: Be healthy in the playoffs . . . it’s all OK. As long as they peak in the playoffs . . . Going through the motions through the holidays was just fine with me. I just wanted to see Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen still running the floor in April. So here we are. And they’re all healthy . . . They’ll beat Cleveland . . . I’m taking the Celtics over the Heat, then again over the mighty Cavaliers.’’

Pretty impressive.

Florida Celts Fan also stuck by this team through their 27-27 finish to the regular season.

But we'll talk more about her and the 1969 Boston Celtics later, after we hoist banner 18 in a couple of weeks.


Lex said...

BOSTON – With a month left in the regular season, Doc Rivers gathered Paul Pierce(notes), Kevin Garnett(notes) and Ray Allen(notes) in his office to tell them how they would be champions again. They were so far away, so uncertain the possibility remained plausible. The longer the season had gone with worn legs, beat-up bodies and bad losses, the clearer the truth had become for Rivers. They would stop angling for playoff seeding and home court, stop treating the regular season with urgency.

Doc Rivers has guided the Celtics to the NBA Finals in two of the past three seasons.
(NBAE/ Getty Images)

“Listen, we’re going to practice harder, you’re going to play less and there’s going to be a minute restriction,” Rivers told them. Garnett’s and Pierce’s faces grew long, and Rivers punctuated his declaration with the obvious: “And I know you’re not going to like this, but the only way you’re going to win is healthy.”

Lex said...

Two years ago, Rivers’ job was to temper the wild expectations of bringing together the Big Three. This time, it was to get these Celtics to believe again. As the Celtics lulled midway through the season, this was the hardest job of all.

Lex said...

“Yeah, we ran our stuff,” said Rivers. “In Game 4 and 5 we became an iso (isolation) basketball team. We had zero movement. And today in our shootaround before the game, it was probably the longest we’ve ever gone on offense. All I kept stressing is the ball does not need to touch the floor; it needs to touch more hands. It has to move. Orlando’s too good defensively to play iso basketball.”

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