December 13, 2011; Waltham, MA, USA; Boston Celtics team photographer Brian Babineau works with guard-forward Paul Pierce (34) during the media day at the team
Can you believe it? The Boston Celtics training camp starts Saturday, but officially begins after Media Day on Friday. Danny Ainge had a successful offseason, retooling the roster, and drafting a top ten talent with the 21st pick, Jared Sullinger. With the pre-season ready to begin, we will finally get our first look at this year’s team, and see if they have what it takes to go deep in the playoffs.
As the anticipation grows, there have been many parallels to the 2007-2008 season so far. The Celtics will be going to Turkey and Milan, and like five years ago, this gives the team a chance to gel. There are many new faces, and this in a sense is a new team. A new era has begun with Ray Allen leaving and Rajon Rondo taking the reins. So in my mind, this is almost re-living one of the greatest years as a Celtics fan.
Tomorrow, after attending a reading event at a local school, the rookies and new comers will be given a ride on a duck tour. Most likely, Doc Rivers will tell them that if they work hard, nine months from now they might find themselves on one of those in a championship parade. It was around this time of year in 2007 when the Big Three were given this opportunity, and this experience was one thing that motivated them to win the title.
Jason Terry in an interview said that his mission is to kill the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers. Of course he didn’t mean it literally, but I love his mentality. With Ray Allen going to Miami this offseason, it just added more fuel to the fire. There is definitely going to be a lot of emotion on opening night, hard feelings between former teammates, and the fact that the Heat knocked off the Celtics in the playoffs is just going to make this one game must see TV.
This season is going to be great. Will the Celtics finish off the season achieving their goal, or will they fall short like they have the last four years? Will the injury bug bite the Celtics, or will the youth that Ainge has acquired keep the veterans fresh for the playoffs? These are questions that are going to be asked throughout the season, but in the meantime we can continue to speculate and predict how far this team will go.
The journey begins now. Boston has a deep roster and a coach who is a leader among men who can get his team back to the Finals.