Grampa Celtic, Are Ya Still There?
Bob Ryan famously kicked off last season with a shot across the bow, warning Celtics fans not to expect much from their aging and broken down team during the 2011-12 season. Many fans shrugged it off, only to start reconsidering his warning when the green started slow and kept getting slower as the season moved on.
Then Doc shook things up. He moved Kevin Garnett over to the 5-spot, moved Brandon Bass into the starting line-up, and, wa la, suddenly the Boston Celtics had one of the best records in the NBA for about 20 games following that move. The team continued playing well all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they went up 3-2 over the eventual NBA champions, at which time age and injuries finally did them in.
The closest Mr. Ryan ever came to eating crow was when he quoted Danny Ainge as expressing surprise at how the season turned out:
It's Year 5 of the three-year plan, and even its architect is not sure what to make of what's going on "I didn't know they'd even be here in Year 5," said Danny Ainge. "They've surprised me a handful of times." It's good to know the Celtics GM, VP, or whatever his title is isn't any more prescient than the rest of us. Back when the Celtics were floundering at 5-9, 15-17, he wasn’t thinking about beating out Philadelphia for the Atlantic Division title. He was thinking the same thing the rest of us were: “Please, God, get us to sixth so we don’t have to play Chicago or Miami in the first round.’’
Most of us understand where Bob Ryan was coming from. Most of us had been waiting for the first signs of the end for a couple of years now. I'm still not quite sure how best to evaluate this summer's moves (though I'll take my first stab at offering something in the next few days). Perhaps Grampa Celtic is still trying to digest it all, too.
- #05 (Walton)
- #08 (Wedman)
- #12 (Sichting)
- 1971-72 Lakers
- 2007-08 Scores
- Banner 17
- Grassy Knoll Network
- Green Mile
- Larry & Magic
- NBA Scoreboard
- Russell v. Chamberlain
- Walton Gang (1977)