Summer is the greatest time of the year, and if you live in New England it is the only time of the year that you don’t have to deal with unpredictable rain, unseasonably cold winds that make Chicago look like a vacuum, and don’t get me started on snow, slush, hail or sleet. Remind me again why I live here? Oh yes, from late October to hopefully June we have the greatest sports team a fan could ask for, the Celtics. We all want the nice weather to stick around but I will give you five solid reasons you should go to bed tonight and hope you wake up just before Halloween.
5. Tommy Heinsohn – Do people realize how blessed we are to have an announcer like Tommy Heinsohn? Not only does the guy love the Celtics more than most fans in the building on any given night, he is also not afraid to show it. Heinsohn, Donny Marshall, and Mike Gorman really make a great team, but he is clearly the glue that holds it together. My goal in life is to receive a Tommy Point for the effort I put out in pick up ball. Thank you Tommy for every year you have given this team and the City of Boston.
4. Fresh bodies – Let’s face it, last season was rough. Pierce finally proved his body was mortal losing him for a few weeks for the first time since he hurt his foot in 2006. KG spent time on the mend again, along with Big Baby and his freak hand incident and straight down to the bench that saw Marquis Daniels and Tony Allen miss significant time. And face it, without making excuses, whatever was wrong with Ray Allen and Kendrick Perkins knee injury in Game 6 greatly affected what could have been a different outcome for the Finals. We know we are without Kendrick Perkins for a few months, but a fresh team with a few new additions will make some serious noise in the Eastern Conference with or without that so called freak show they are trying to assemble in Miami.
3. Nate Robinson – A full season of KryptoNate is enough to make me smile and have a passerby look at me and cross the street like I am scheming an evil plot. Even before the thought of coming to Boston was a reality Robinson was one of two players I always hoped to see don the Green and White, the other being Danny Granger. His play is as exciting as they come in my opinion and I cant help but love a player with showmanship such as Nate’s. Tell me that press conference following the Shrek and Donkey show was not possibly the best you have seen and I will show you a person obviously in Pinocchio’s linage. In all fairness he came into a mid-season turmoil with no direction for a place in the lineup. This year with expectations and a knowledge of the system will be a whole new world in the pint-size point guard’s career. The only thing I can wish for is to see Nate and Rondo play consistently on the same line and I think we may see a duo that would make NBA Jam look silly.
2. Ash Mac – Let’s not sit here and pretend we are mature. Guys love cheerleaders and when one of the said cheerleaders is a local girl, then you know she is something special and Ash Mac proved from the get go that she can hang with the best not only on the dance floor, but also in the media. The things that come out of that girl’s mouth in interviews never ceases to amuse me. If you have seen her speak in an interview you know what I mean, she is more than just a pretty face in the crowd, if you haven’t google it after you finish this rant. Now Ashley aside, the whole team is beautiful and we don’t look forward to timeouts to see Scal hop off the bench to slap five with every player. Side note: Ozzy’s “Crazy Train” has never looked so hypnotizing.
1. Rajon Rondo – Was there any question in your mind that Rajon Rondo would be #1? This season will see RR step into his big boy shoes and take the helm along with the League’s elite. Rondo has been growing and blossoming since he took the point when Delonte West went west with Big Al. There is no player that can transition like Rondo and try to find a steal more amazing then the thievery he pulled off in the waning minutes of the half against Jason Williams in the Playoffs. The guy is a one-man highlight reel, that is unless he is dishing an amazing dime, then I guess technically it becomes a two-man show. Utah fans will say Rondo has nothing on Deron Williams, actually half the fans across the league may say that with Utah, but in June re-present the question and watch the percentage of people change their vote. Rondo’s game only need one thing to improve, his shooting. And I don’t mean improving his shooting, because there in no cure for that jump shot he has, Rondo needs to stop forcing the shot. Rondo can lay the ball in to our amazement and if he gets the opportunity he should take it, only Magic looked better under the net. But what Rondo needs to learn is that he can win and control a game without shooting, his game presence is that good. Rondo needs to create lanes and put the ball into a finisher’s hands, and when the defense starts to cheat off his shot he needs to step in to keep them honest. For 82 games I look forward to throwing my hands up and screaming “oh my God did you see that?” and for 2 or 3 of those games I hope to be sitting in an uncomfortable and crowded Boston Garden surrounded by 24,000 great friends thinking the same exact thing. No player excels at making opposition look silly like Rondo. When he winds his body up for an eye-popping dish you never know which one of four targets he will peg in any given situation, but you always know you will hit rewind on that DVR at least 3 times to figure out how he did it and still sit there like you are watching a David Blaine special scratching your head in bewilderment. There are a few guys you think about when you think Boston Celtics; one day Rajon Rondo will be one of those Legends of the Garden that you tell your sons and daughters about as they grow.
There you have it, 5 reasons to stop what you are doing click your heels together and say, “there is no time like fall.” And guys we won’t judge if pop on sparkly ruby heels for the good of the game. We all do it, and don’t say you never have.