17 December 2008

Gang Green

The Celtics are 23-2, have won their past fifteen games in a row, and are approaching a record setting start. There's even talk that they might be the best Celtic team ever. Now I know that's hyperbole, especially considering they've only won one championship, but they are really good and a joy to watch. I'm still childishly giddy about how successful they are.

I mean, last year the team was thrown together, happened to gel and coalesced into championship form ahead of schedule. The common thinking was that the KG-Ray-Pierce trio would need one full year to hit their stride. Well, now they've hit their stride and they're crushing opponents. A showdown with the hated Lakers looms Christmas Day but even though the Celts have lost James Posey and PJ Brown, they are possibly better than last year. The Lakers are better this year too but we whupped them last year so I don't see how this year will be any different. Their biggest challenge will probably be Lebron and the Cavaliers out East, not the Lakers and the rest of the ragtag West contenders. How quickly things change.

This version of the Celtics is easy to love and is so basketball perfect-classic. A point guard who's a defensive terror and can both distribute and drive to the hoop at will. A two guard with the prettiest jumper in the game. A do everything small forward equally adept in all phases of the game. An ultra-athletic four who can post up, consistently drain the seventeen footer, and defend and rebound. A beefy center who has a mean streak and lives to block shots and clean the boards.

Plus they're all so fun to follow. I mean, for one, third year point guard Rajon Rondo is amazing. His first career triple double was 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 17 assists. Oh, and add three steals to boot. The last time someone threw up such a huge triple double was, well, Magic Johnson? Rondo's been killing teams this season and is making his case for the All Star squad. Ray Allen has found his niche in the offense (after struggling a bit on that end last season) and has been the early season team MVP. He's not over the hill, not by a long shot. Paul Pierce has fully evolved into the perfect all around player and he's upped his defensive intensity another notch this year. And Kendrick Perkins is a beast. Then there's Kevin Garnett, whose mouth is used to intimidate opponents and whip his teammates into a frenzy. Heck, he even made Glen Davis cry once.

I would love to watch this team in person. Just once. It might literally be a once in a lifetime experience, to see the defending Celtics live. Last year I said I'd pay $1000 to fly to Boston to catch a Finals game if they made it. Silly me. A thousand dollars wouldn't have gotten me anywhere near the court. This year, I looked up tickets for the Lakers-Celtics bash at Staples and the cheap seats were like $300. If I'm going to go watch them live, I want to watch it super up close and personal. I want to be sweated on and never wash my shirt again. Sadly, I don't have a few grand just lying around though. Is it worth a laptop to watch one basketball game? My heart says yes but my head (and wallet) say no.