The Boston Celtics!

Last night the Boston Celtics did something that they hadn’t done in about 20 years. They won their 60th basketball game, with a 92-77 win over the catatonic Pacers! It is a gross understatement to say that this has been a turnaround season — last year they Celt’s went a dismal 24-68, displaced at the bottom of the standings only by Memphis at 22-60. But this year’s team has made new believers our of many disenchanted Celtics past true believers!

How did this almost miraculous turnaround happen? Well, the key reason is acquisition of some talented, professional players like Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, among many others. Garnett and Allen have signaled that the Celtic management has tired of “wandering in the pro basketball desert”. As a result, management spent a few bucks to revitalize a team on the brink of eternal mediocrity. In Garnett, Allen, Rajon Rondo, Tony Allen, Glen Davis, Sam Cassell and, of course veteran/captain Paul Pierce, the Celts field an immensely talented team. And this extends fully up and down the roster with guys like Scalabrine, Posey, Pollard, Brown, House and Pruitt…they have all contributed to this success.

I like the nose-to-the-grindstone attitude of this Celtics team. They are talented, but they’re not cocky and they don’t portray themselves as thugs or spoiled-brat, bling-laden individuals. They seem like a team whose players genuinely like each other and have committed themselves, top to bottom, to hard work.

And let’s not leave coach Doc Rivers’ steady leadership out of the equation. He suffered through some horrible years with a hodgepodge of talented and mediocre players, but he never experienced a coming together of talent and hard work in his team like he has this year. It’s great to see him finally get the satisfaction and recognition that he deserves.

I haven’t closely followed much Celtic’s basketball since the “Big Three” era. But I do tune in to the games and I follow the personalities. I haven’t seen much in the way of team talent, but rather random groupings of sometimes talented individuals. My hope is that the 2007-2008 Boston Celtics represent the start of a new legacy. A legacy based on hard work, professionalism and talent. They rightfully join the NE Patriots and the Boston Red Sox in this regard.

For the first time in many, many years I’m actually looking forward to the NBA playoffs! Go get ‘em Green!