Had you asked me one week ago who was the best team in the league it was arguably the LA Lakers, but after their recent skid and turmoil the clear favorite is the Celtics. The Celts have been a top team since beating the Heat on day one of the season, but have kept their temp strong and focused for most of their 18 games. One could clearly argue their game against OKC was a clear underachieving performance and they could not be more correct.
In the first month the Celtics have lost significant playing time to starting center Jermaine O’Neal which clearly was a blessing in disguise. Shaq has been playing like a 20 year old (pat myself for calling this one) since joining the Celtics, the personalities are a perfect fit for the massive jester and the presence of their already strong D lets him play reduced minutes and focus on his area without worrying about someone sneaking on his post side. A bigger surprise than Shaq is the spectacular addition of Semih Erden who no body seen coming. His additional play makes J. O’Neal nearly expendable, his effort has been nothing short of a perfect fit for Boston.
The largest disappointments we have seen since Halloween is the play of Jermaine and the injury of Delonte West. I was clearly against the signing of West over the offseason, but the intensity he brought to the floor won me over very quickly and my love for him the first time around returned just as fast. His offseason issues were served in a 10-game suspension and his months off rehabbing that wrist, and all this down time will show whether or not he can keep himself out of trouble.
The Big Three and the Little One have played like men on a mission with one goal, win a title. Rajon Rondo’s new style of pure point guard and leave the scoring to the scorers has been refreshing. He proves there is no better ball handler in the league and why his skills will one day put him as a premier draw in the league like Jason Kidd when he ruled the court in the early 2000′s. Rondo’s talents that he brought to the Garden are placing John Stockton’s records in jeopardy and making his efforts a new bread of an old game. The future looks very bright for the foreseeable future on Boston’s parquet.
The biggest delight this season has been the addition of Big Baby Davis, apparently they took the old Davis, shipped him out had him refurbished and installed the KG-style intensity option. His play has been in my opinion the most improved and impressive not only in Boston, but in the league. His addition of skill off the bench has made the injury to Shaq nearly noticeable and the pressure he takes off the starters to hold a lead or get on the floor and build a lead is irreplaceable. Watching his game is a pleasure of unmeasurable delight, which is a testament to all the hard work he put into training this offseason. If Boston is smart they don’t even give this boy a chance to look at the open market they sign him right now to a lengthy deal. Davis and Rondo are the future of this team without question.
Follow on Twitter @ObiWanCanubi