For Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, there’s no better time to reclaim the NBA championship than now.
While other teams look at the future, three, five or seven years down the road, Ainge looks at the NOW word to try to deliver the “goods” that will help bring the Celtics back to their championship level.
However, Ainge is contending with a starting unit that’s basically in their 30s—Ray Allen is 34, Kevin Garnett is 33 while Paul Pierce 32.
Newly acquired forward Rasheed Wallace is already 35.
With players at their 30s, the biggest gamble they took after deciding to shop for a veteran player in the free agent market instead of focusing on young talents is the possibility of getting one or more of their stars injured.
Well, that had happened last season when Garnett injured his knee against the Utah Jazz during the regular season and eventually failed to ride the Boston bus for the entire NBA Playoffs.
The Celtics were taken to a seven-game series against a young Chicago Bulls team led by super rookie Derrick Rose.
Boston was fortunate enough to survive and advance to the second round. But another seven-game series against Orlando drained the Garnett-less Celtics as they eventually surrendered their NBA crown.
Currently, the Celtics appear stronger with the addition lf Wallace, who’ll be coming off the bench for the first time in his colorful NBA career to spell Garnett.
However, bench depth has always been a crucial factor entering the Playoffs. Wide-bodied forward Glen Davis played splendidly during the playoffs for the Cs during Garnett’s absence.
The guard line led by starting point guard Rajon Rondo remains solid. Just wondering how Stephon Marbury can contribute in his first full season with Boston this October.
I think the pieces of the championship puzzle only needs a little tweaking for the Celtics. But it sure is not going to be an easy climb back to respectability and championship for this proud franchise.
Orlando and Cleveland are still there to challenge them, while Chicago, even without Ben Gordon, remains a potent team.
NBA 2010 season come October will be packed with more surprises.