2008-2009 Boston Celtics Season Preview
2008 Boston Celtics preview from MadduxSports.com. Maddux Sports the premier professional handicappers also offers winning NBA Picks daily to our visitors.
Once the Celtics secured forward Kevin Garnett and guard Ray Allen just about everyone predicted that the team would be play-off bound in 2007-2008. After all, the Celtics still had long-time roster member and All-Star Paul Pierce on their roster. However, no one envisioned what the triumvirate would be able to do with a supporting cast that included Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins, Tony Allen and Rajon Rondo. Boston put a solid offensive team on the court, but the key was clearly their defense, which was tenacious, exacting and one of the best in the league. Defensive coach and smart-guy Tom Thibodeau was one of the keys to last season’s success as was head coach Doc Rivers’ ability to utilize his new coach’s prowess. The result was that the Boston Celtics (66-16) took their division, conference and the NBA Championship. Can the Celts do it again this season?
Last season the Boston Celtics displayed an ability to pass, pass and pass again, finding the best opportunity they could to make a basket. Their teamwork was first-rate, their rebounding of opponent’s shots was tops and their bench played as a unit. This was a dream team for those who admire and love teamwork.
A key loss for the club is defensive specialist James Posey, who got a great deal with the Hornets. But the team has retained guard Eddie House and swingman Tony Allen. Foul House and chances are he’s going to hit the shot. Allen is versatile and productive from the field, hitting 43% of his shots.
Forward Kevin Garnett, the NBA’s Defensive Player of 2007-2008, hit 54% of his field goals and 80% of his foul shots while frontcourt man Paul Pierce proved that he could connect from inside, downtown and the charity stripe. Garnett led the club in rebounding, averaging 9.2 RPG. Center Kendrick Perkins and forward Glen Davis played better than expected. Perkins shot 62% from the field with 6.1 RPG and 6.9 PPG. Rookie Davis, who was inconsistent at times, averaged 13.6 MPG and could be electric.
Last season, Rajon Rondo won the Celtics’ starting point guard spot. Rondo, who was playing in his second NBA season, was not intimidated by the stars and vets that surrounded him. He was solid, averaging 5.1 APG and 10.6 PPG. Although not a great shooter, he was a very fine playmaker. Shooting guard Rae Allen hit threes at the rate of 40% and foul shots at 91%. He averaged 17.4 PPG. Entering his 13th year, there’s always the worry that Allen, who was injured last season, could be headed down the path of diminishing returns. Eddie House, who starts his ninth season, will serve as the backcourt’s main backup. Second-season guard Gabe Pruitt will put in important minutes.
In a division that includes a vastly improved Philadelphia club and a diminished New Jersey team, the Celtics look to be the ruling power once again. It’s true that their post game is not very strong, but the rest looks solid. The Boston Celtics could repeat in 2008-2009.