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Danny Remains Unconventional: C's played best basketball in 2010 (not 2008)
Reflections on the six-year run (‘08-’13) of the new Big Three:
What’s the toughest “what if”?
Ainge: "Losing a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of Game 7 of an NBA Finals (in 2010) I think was probably the toughest. Even though we weren’t 100 percent -- we didn’t have [Kendrick] Perkins -- I thought that that was the best basketball we played, actually, including 2008 [when they won an NBA title].
Now that we stink again, it's time for our brains to re-populate with all that mush that occupied space before July 31, 2007. As Florida Celts Fan gently noted in setting me straight, not-so-young Danny was once a believer in brain types. This is different than phrenology, but for my money, both disciplines live in the same neighborhood.
With that thought "in mind," we turn to the latest bit of evidence that Herr Ainge looks at the world a little bit differently than we do. Case in point? The Celtics were playing better basketball in 2010 than we were in 2008.
Sure we went on a nice little (and unexpected) run in 2010, as we cruised past the imploding Cleveland Cavaliers, and, come to think of it, imploding Orlando Magic. But to say we were playing better basketball is a slight bit ridiculous, wouldn't ya say?
How might we measure the quality of play?
I'm gonna vote for rebounding.
Let's first look at Kevin Garnett. In the last two games of the playoffs in 2010, he grabbed a mere 9 rebounds, 3 in the decisive game 7. In those two games the Celtics got outrebounded as a team 105-71. Now let's contrast with the final two games of the 2008 playoffs, where the Garnett grabbed 28 rebounds, while the team won the rebound battle 85-69. Let's not even talk about the difference in how Paul Pierce closed out the two campaigns.
Bottom line, the 2008 championship was two-years in the rear-view mirror, and Team Green was simply incapable of imposing their will in the same manner they had in Garnett's first year. Part of the reason was the Celtics didn't have a bench of healthy players named Powe, Davis, Brown, Cassell, Posey, and House to provide quality minutes off the bench in 2010.
The other factor that may be lost in the history books, but was clear to all of us who watched, is that the 2008 Green had another gear. They could beat you by 40 any time they wanted to, supposing they wanted to put forth the necessary effort on both ends of the floor. The 2010 Celtics were playing balls to the wall just to get as far as they did.
So let's just say I disagree with not-so-young Danny on this one.
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