NBA Champion Boston Celtics

» June 18, 2008 10:29 AM | By Brandon Hoffman

Bill Russell knew.

Of course, Russell is a Celtic at heart. The man led Boston to 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons. But he’s also the greatest winner in the history of professionals sports. Russell saw KG playing the “way he should play.” Leading Boston by example. Playing selflessly. Leaving every ounce of energy on the floor each and every night. Just like Russell did.

Russell knew the Boston Celtics were destined for greatness. That they would etch their names in the record books.

Paul Pierce was the Finals MVP.

But Kevin Garnett is the heart and soul of the Boston Celtics. And the Boston Celtics were all heart. They were all soul. The Celtics defense was as good as any in NBA history. Built upon each player moving in unison. All five guys tied to a string. Kevin Garnett was the quarterback. The Defensive Player of the Year. Barking out instructions to his teammates, telling them where the help was located, and spreading his defensive intensity and enthusiasm for the game.

It was contagious.

The Celtics won 66 games during the regular season. Yet they struggled in the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Hawks and Cavaliers took Boston to 7 games. Boston beat the Pistons and Lakers in 6.

Why?

Match-ups played a part. But the Celtics improved with each round. Ray Allen fought through his shooting slump to shoot better than 50% from the 3-point line in the NBA Finals. Boston’s bench — a weakness through much of the playoffs — stepped up under the brightest of lights.

Doc Rivers encouraged his team to never give up, to never stop believing. And they didn’t. Boston came back from the largest deficit in NBA Finals history in Game 4.

The Celtics deserved the NBA championship. They wanted it more. Up by 30 points in Game 6, the Celtics were still beating the Lakers to loose balls. Boston had an NBA record 18 steals last night.

Kevin Garnett was interviewed shortly after the final buzzer sounded and he was beside himself. KG appeared intoxicated and the champagne hadn’t even been popped. Garnett was drunk with happiness. He was shaken to his core with unbridled joy, completely lost in the moment.

So much of a player’s legacy is determined by chance and circumstance. But every once in awhile, the basketball gods get it right. They got it right by allowing KG to play for the Boston Celtics this season. This is where he should have been his entire career — competing for an NBA championship.

Garnett deserved a shot to cement his legacy in the NBA Finals. And cement it he did. Kevin scored 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in Game 6.

So what’s next?

Bill Russell said Garnett and the Celtics would win “two or three” NBA championships.

The ‘Big 3′ will be back. So will Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins. James Posey and PJ Brown will be retained. And Boston will be an attractive destination for free agents and veterans looking for a shot at an NBA championship.

The rest of the NBA has some catching up to do. The dynasty that seemed destined for the Lakers may end up in Boston.

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)


6 Responses to “NBA Champion Boston Celtics”

  1. Champs Says:

    wow…I didnt see that one coming. 39-point victory?? Boston wanted this game more than anything in the world. KG’s interview at the end was AWESOME!!

    THE BIG THREE should have been Co-MVPS…that would have been sweet.

  2. Basketballogy Says:

    They gave Paul Pierce the trophy, but he most certainly was NOT the Finals MVP. Danny Ainge was.

    The Celtics’ heralded “Big 3?” Ainge’s doing.

    The Celtics’ Tom Thibideau architected defense? Ainge’s doing.

    Maybe someday, Ray Allen will have Ainge’s job, and he’ll put together the next generation of Celtics championships.

    I think the Celtics will very much still be contenders next year, and could potentially repeat, provided the Big 3 are still hungry.

    And, of course, with Andrew Bynum, the Lakers will be much stronger next year.

    Could we all be discussing the Celtics vs. Lakers Finals again this time next year?

    By the way, those who say Phil Jackson was out coached by Doc Rivers are flat out wrong.

    If anything, Jackson was out coached by Tom Thibideau, the Celtics assistant coach and defensive specialist.

    Think about this, guys!

    Everyone is so fixated on the point differential: 39, that they are missing the REAL reason there isn’t a game 7: the number 131.

    The Lakers scored 92 points, which is enough to win. In fact, it is more than the 87 points they scored in their game 3 win over the Celtics.

    However, the Lakers’ defensive indifference early in the game let the Celtics score 131 points!

    How does a team allow their opponent to score 131 points in a close out game?!!!

    You heard and saw the “plugged in” clips. It’s not like Phil Jackson wasn’t trying to teach and tell them to defend.

    We all know the Lakers BIGS didn’t rebound or defend, and the Lakers BENCH was severely outplayed on both ends of the court.

    That being the case, how can Phil be faulted for the Lakers losses?

    If you don’t have adequate people on the floor or on the bench, than aren’t you just rearranging deck chairs on the Titantic?

    Seriously, guys, more minutes for Trevor Ariza and less for Vladimir Radmanovic would NOT have changed the outcome of this series.

    The Lakers don’t have the right bigs, bench or defensive mindset to be champions. Not yet.

    And, frankly, the Lakers don’t have the right coaching staff under Phil Jackson. Phil can analyze and adjust, but he needs someone teaching a “triangle defense,” a defensive SYSTEM as well thought out as his offense.

    The best thing Marc Jackson said all series was his anecdote about Doc Rivers.

    Before the Finals, Marc Jackson told Rivers he thought the Lakers would win and explained why, and told Doc Rivers, “If you were objective, you would agree with me.

    Doc simply said, “No I wouldn’t, because in the playoffs, I’d pick defense every time.”

    The difference in the Finals was defense more than anything, and like the Celtics Big 3, Danny Ainge brought that to Boston.

    Forget the 39 point blow out, the REAL news is the Lakers allowed 131 points in an elimination game.

    Mitch Kupchak: get the Lakers some players who can defend, and get Phil an assistant (like Tex Winter) with a defensive mind.

  3. Hoffman Says:

    Champs,

    I didn’t expect it either.

    I think Pierce, Allen, and KG were equally deserving of MVP too. Pierce played through injury, KG was the heart and soul, and Allen was the most consistent.

  4. Hoffman Says:

    Basketballogy,

    The Lakers offense was out of sorts 90% of the time. The players deserve blame for that but so does Phil Jackson. I never saw the Lakers make adjustments.

    I think the Lakers had to score more points to beat the Celtics. They weren’t a defensive team. They were an offensive team.

  5. celtic history Says:

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  6. bill russell celtics Says:

    [...] in the history of professionals sports. russell saw KG playing the ???way he should play.??? Leadinghttp://ballerblogger.com/2008/06/18/boston-celtics-world-champions/Simmons: Draft Diary XII, a twin killing ESPNAs he chronicled every moment for his annual NBA draft [...]

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