Author Topic: Remember who really believed when the stories change  (Read 51582 times)

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Remember who really believed when the stories change
« on: October 24, 2009, 01:46:24 AM »

Offline drza44

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This thread...it's hard to convey exactly what I'm looking for here, so I hope you bear with me and actually read it long enough to see if it's for you. 

You see...most of you that have read my posts here know I was a Kevin Garnett fan that came to the Celtics with him, but though that is my background for this thread I want it to be about more than that.  Since we're all one family now, I want this to be one that all of us can check through the year and after and reminisce on how this team made the national "experts" look bad.  Let me explain.

Every year, everyone in the basketball media makes some type of predictions on how the season will go.  And every year, those predictions slowly give way to revised, backtracking stories and by the time history remembers it you would think everyone all along knew how it would go.  Don't believe me?  Let me give you a few of examples:

Example 1: 2003-04 Timberwolves.
  Summer of 2003, the Wolves trade Joe Smith and Anthony Peeler for 34-year old Sam Cassell and Ervin Johnson, then trade the expiring salary of the retired Terrell Brandon for 33-year old Latrell Sprewell.  At that time, all of the "experts" noted that Cassell and Sprewell would be the most talented teammates of KG's career, but that they were old, headcases, and weren't good enough anymore to be difference makers.

By December, when the Wolves were off to a great start and on their way to the #1 seed in the West, Sports Illustrated had KG/Cassell/Spree on the cover calling them the Big 3.  By the time the season was over Cassell and Spree were considered two elite players, and history now tells us that everyone knew the Wolves would be great with the addition of two superstars like Cassell and Spree to play next to KG.  Like the media was always with that team as contenders, in the words of the great Kanye West, "no you (freakin) wasn't!"

Example 2: 2007-08 Celtics.  Summer of 2007, the Celtics trade half of their team for Ray Allen and the other half for KG.  At that time, all of the experts noted that KG/Pierce/Allen were  a super-talented trio and could be contenders, but most thought that they would eventually come up short.  Whether they weren't confident enough in the main trio, whether they thought Rondo and Perk would break under pressure, whether they thought the bench was too weak...whatever the reason, there weren't many that were willing to say the Celtics would actually WIN the title.  Not in the Summer of 2007.  But by spring of 2008, every article was about how great the Big 3 were, ESPN was running KG interviews with Bill Russell, and you would think that the experts were always on the train that the Cs were going to dominate the league, no you (freakin) wasn't!

Example 3: 2008 Celtics in the playoffs.  Despite the previous example, after the first 2 rounds of the playoffs the media had once again jumped off the bandwagon.  Most "experts" picked the Pistons over the Cs, then the Cs left them behind.  Then, almost EVERY expert picked the Lakers over the Cs.  Then, what happened?  The Cs beat the Lakers by 40 in deciding game, and the story changed.  All of a sudden, the Celtics were just SO much more talented than the Lakers.  All of a sudden, there was no way you could REALLY have expected Kobe to beat a defense as strong as the Cs had.  Like they were saying that all along, no you (freakin) wasn't!

So, my point.  In the previous examples, I remember the BS I read before the season started but most people don't.  They swallowed the revised story, and think I'm lying if I point out that many really didn't believe before it happened.  So, this thread is dedicated to those that REALLY believe that this 2009-10 Celtics team is going to be SPECIAL.

If you really think this team is too old to really be special, this thread isn't for you.

If you think this team is really good but so are the Cavs, Lakers, Spurs and Magic so the Celtics should just be one of five contenders but not really the favorite...again, this isn't for you.

Because you see...I think this team is history in the making.  I think we're in Chicago in October of 1995, that we're in LA in fall of 1986, that we're re-living Boston in fall of 1985.  This is going to be a BIG year, and I don't think it's being properly appreciated now.  I wouldn't be surprised at 75 wins and a Fo-fo-fo-fo playoffs.  This team is freakin GOOD!!!  (Three exclamation-points needed!!!)  And by next spring, when every member of the media is writing the story that they knew it all along, I want to have this thread to go back to so I can point and say "no you (freakin) wasn't!). 

So, here's what I'm going to do.  I'm going to post some of the articles that I've been reading about how the Cs will be very good, but just one of the good ones.  In fact, this rant was touched off by the Bill Simmons NBA preview that is in another thread right now...that article is going to be the first one that I post.  Over the next little while I'm going to find some more articles like this and put them in this thread. 

I'm hoping that some of you that really think this team will be special have read similar things that irritated you, and that you will put them in this thread too.

I also hope that some of you others that think we've got front row seats to watch history will chime in with your testimony now, before it's safe to say it.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I know all of us pull for the Celtics, and that many hope the Cs will outdistance their competitors but still recognize how great those teams are.  I do.  I think the Spurs (especially), the Lakers, the Cavs and the Magic are outstanding teams.  I think they all could have won the championship almost any other year in this decade.  Just not this year.  This year will be remembered with green glasses, and I'm just trying to get in on the ground floor. 

And maybe I'm alone.  Maybe no one else really feels that strongly.  Maybe nobody else is willing to risk the "jinx" by saying it now.  Maybe this thread will just be a bunch of 'drza44' posts.  But if so...so be it.  By next summer I'll either be a genius or a lunatic.  But so be it.  This team is really, really, REALLY good.  And if you're in the media and you aren't saying that now...I don't want to hear you saying it next spring.  Like you were with us all along...no you (freakin) wasn't!

Re: Remember who really believed when the stories change
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2009, 01:52:35 AM »

Offline Tai

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Easy TP. I'm 200% for this topic. : )

Re: Remember who really believed when the stories change
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2009, 02:06:18 AM »

Offline Bahku

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Great post ... and let me be the first to say i wholeheartedly agree, (edit: well, I was the first when I started typing, haha). I have said this same thing, (though much abbreviated), in other threads, so I won't be sticking my neck out any further than I already have, and most who know me, know I'm not real concerned with my head getting lopped off anyway ... it's no great loss to me or the world, so c'est la vie.

I had a real problem when the 'Sheed deal went down initially, because I quite frankly have always hated the guy, but I have quickly come to realize, (upon being faced with no alternative), that he is a perfect fit for this team, will be able to curb his attitude sufficiently to get the "Ubuntu" thing, and that he is quite possibly the mortar that can securely bond the starting five to the bench.

I have also stated in other threads that I believe this is the deepest bench and best team we've had since 1986, and I will support that with facts, if needed. There is much left to be proved by the new additions and younger players, and I know these things take time. But from what I have seen of this chemistry that's brewing, it's going to be a powerful concoction, and one that could quite possibly not only win the championship this year, but set us up for two or more.

So if you were hoping to not have to wait long for an opinionated fool to jump on this seemingly ill-fated bandwagon, you got your wish. And I not only agree with your assessment of things to come, but declare that it's not so ill-fated at all, but to me, from where I sit, more of a sure bet. Whatever happens this season, it's going to be one of the most exciting in many years ... and one of the most fun. I, for one, am glad to be part of this ship you've raised sails on, and all too willing to take the fall for it if we're wrong.

I'm with ya, Bro ... bring on the NBA, and let's get number 18 to the rafters!

(TP ... without a doubt!)

Maybe we can be the "18 Club" ... or something equally tacky and trite. ;)
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Re: Remember who really believed when the stories change
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2009, 02:07:28 AM »

Offline drza44

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For the Simmons article, because there's already a thread on it I'm not looking to discuss the pros and cons of the entire article.  If you want to discuss the article itself, check out this thread:

http://forums.celticsblog.com/index.php?topic=32446.0

And for posterity sake, here is the link to the Simmons article itself:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/part2/091023&sportCat=nba

That said, here are the two blurbs that set me off:

7. Kevin Garnett
Remember in "Shawshank," when Red was describing how Andy burrowed through the walls thanks to "pressure over time." The same goes for NBA players and knees. Pressure over time. You pressure your knees over time,
... blah blah blah ...
One silver lining for Celts fans: The Celtics can make the Finals with Garnett at 65-70 percent efficiency. Why? Because it's the deepest of the three Garnett/Celtics teams, and because the rest of the conference is that weak. Anything he gives them beyond a 14/7 and good defense is a bonus. A little frightening to say about someone in Year 1 of a three-year, $53 million extension. But true.

I didn't post this whole blurb, because it is pasted and discussed in the Celticsblog topic that I mention above.  But here, I want you to take that KG blurb (and the passive-aggressive Rondo/Sheed criticism blurbs that Simmons wrote in part 1) and contrast that with what he writes about the Spurs here:

"2. Tim Duncan
Healthy, happy, rested, in shape. He's already the greatest power forward ever. He already has four rings. But you know what he doesn't have? When he's 60 years old, or 70, or 75, or whatever, and one of his grandkids says, "Grandpa, what was the best team you ever played on?" … he doesn't have an answer. He never played for a kick-ass, take-no-prisoners, dominant team. Kareem had the '87 Lakers and '71 Bucks. Magic had the '87 Lakers. Wilt had the '67 Sixers and '72 Lakers. Bird had the '86 Celtics. Shaq and Kobe had the '01 Lakers (playoff edition). West had the '72 Lakers. Oscar had the '71 Bucks. Moses had the '83 Sixers. Duncan has nothing.

Now, you could argue that the league is too diluted at this point. (And maybe it is. The '01 Lakers were our last kick-ass team.) Or, you could argue that Duncan never had a season in which everything fell into place. In my basketball book (coming Tuesday!!!), I wrote a chapter about the specific set of dynamics that separate championship teams from memorable championship teams. It's complicated and I won't spoil it here. Just know the 2009-10 Spurs qualify for "memorable" status. They have the talent, they have the "Eff You" edge (a term I explain in the book), and they have something that Gregg Popovich likes to call "appropriate fear." Here's how he explained that phrase in 2005:

It gets more difficult after a win to come back and understand how that subconscious sort of complacency can set in. You can't allow that to happen. You have to keep an appropriate fear of your opponent so that complacency will dissipate as soon as possible.

This particular Spurs team has the right level of appropriate fear: fear of aging and complacency coupled with an appreciation for how fast things can fall apart (thanks to Manu's ankle the past two seasons), and beyond that, the reality that their best player might only have one great season left in him. I am a Spurs junkie. I love reading about them. I love the way they put their rosters together and value chemistry so deeply. I love the way they interact during games (as I've written many times). I just get a kick out of them. And the truth is, this might be their last chance for a dominant season with Tim Duncan leading the way.

I think it happens. If only because great basketball players have a habit of somehow finding that one great team. They are my pick to win in 2010. Convincingly.
"

You see that?  Now, take that ENTIRE blurb, swap out KG's name for Duncan's, change every "Spurs" to "Celtics", and THAT is what should be written about this Celtics team.  This team is championship tested, but no longer complacent after last year's disappointment.  This team has appropriate fear, after seeing what could happen when KG went down.  This team is STARVING to get the Lakers out of their crown.  And BILL SIMMONS SHOULD KNOW THIS!  He is the self-proclaimed biggest Celtics fan in the world.  And I don't give a crap about a jinx or reverse jinx, YOU DON'T GET TO [dang] YOUR TEAM WITH FAINT PRAISE AND GIVE YOUR TEAM'S DESCRIPTION TO ANOTHER TEAM WHILE PICKING THAT OTHER TEAM TO WIN THE TITLE.  Not THIS year.  Not THIS team.

In summer of '09 Simmons is going to once again come out saying that he was with this team all along, No you (freakin) wasn't!

« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 02:15:28 AM by drza44 »

Re: Remember who really believed when the stories change
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2009, 02:19:16 AM »

Offline Bahku

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For the Simmons article, because there's already a thread on it I'm not looking to discuss the pros and cons of the entire article.  If you want to discuss the article itself, check out this thread:

http://forums.celticsblog.com/index.php?topic=32446.0

And for posterity sake, here is the link to the Simmons article itself:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/part2/091023&sportCat=nba

That said, here are the two blurbs that set me off:

7. Kevin Garnett
Remember in "Shawshank," when Red was describing how Andy burrowed through the walls thanks to "pressure over time." The same goes for NBA players and knees. Pressure over time. You pressure your knees over time,
... blah blah blah ...
One silver lining for Celts fans: The Celtics can make the Finals with Garnett at 65-70 percent efficiency. Why? Because it's the deepest of the three Garnett/Celtics teams, and because the rest of the conference is that weak. Anything he gives them beyond a 14/7 and good defense is a bonus. A little frightening to say about someone in Year 1 of a three-year, $53 million extension. But true.

I didn't post this whole blurb, because it is pasted and discussed in the Celticsblog topic that I mention above.  But here, I want you to take that KG blurb (and the passive-aggressive Rondo criticism blurb that Simmons wrote in part 1) and contrast that with what he writes about the Spurs here:

"2. Tim Duncan
Healthy, happy, rested, in shape. He's already the greatest power forward ever. He already has four rings. But you know what he doesn't have? When he's 60 years old, or 70, or 75, or whatever, and one of his grandkids says, "Grandpa, what was the best team you ever played on?" … he doesn't have an answer. He never played for a kick-ass, take-no-prisoners, dominant team. Kareem had the '87 Lakers and '71 Bucks. Magic had the '87 Lakers. Wilt had the '67 Sixers and '72 Lakers. Bird had the '86 Celtics. Shaq and Kobe had the '01 Lakers (playoff edition). West had the '72 Lakers. Oscar had the '71 Bucks. Moses had the '83 Sixers. Duncan has nothing.

Now, you could argue that the league is too diluted at this point. (And maybe it is. The '01 Lakers were our last kick-ass team.) Or, you could argue that Duncan never had a season in which everything fell into place. In my basketball book (coming Tuesday!!!), I wrote a chapter about the specific set of dynamics that separate championship teams from memorable championship teams. It's complicated and I won't spoil it here. Just know the 2009-10 Spurs qualify for "memorable" status. They have the talent, they have the "Eff You" edge (a term I explain in the book), and they have something that Gregg Popovich likes to call "appropriate fear." Here's how he explained that phrase in 2005:

It gets more difficult after a win to come back and understand how that subconscious sort of complacency can set in. You can't allow that to happen. You have to keep an appropriate fear of your opponent so that complacency will dissipate as soon as possible.

This particular Spurs team has the right level of appropriate fear: fear of aging and complacency coupled with an appreciation for how fast things can fall apart (thanks to Manu's ankle the past two seasons), and beyond that, the reality that their best player might only have one great season left in him. I am a Spurs junkie. I love reading about them. I love the way they put their rosters together and value chemistry so deeply. I love the way they interact during games (as I've written many times). I just get a kick out of them. And the truth is, this might be their last chance for a dominant season with Tim Duncan leading the way.

I think it happens. If only because great basketball players have a habit of somehow finding that one great team. They are my pick to win in 2010. Convincingly.
"

You see that?  Now, take that ENTIRE blurb, swap out KG's name for Duncan's, change every "Spurs" to "Celtics", and THAT is what should be written about this Celtics team.  This team is championship tested, but no longer complacent after last year's disappointment.  This team has appropriate fear, after seeing what could happen when KG went down.  This team is STARVING to get the Lakers out of their crown.  And BILL SIMMONS SHOULD KNOW THIS!  He is the self-proclaimed biggest Celtics fan in the world.  And I don't give a crap about a jinx or reverse jinx, YOU DON'T GET TO [dang] YOUR TEAM WITH FAINT PRAISE AND GIVE YOUR TEAM'S DESCRIPTION TO ANOTHER TEAM WHILE PICKING THAT OTHER TEAM TO WIN THE TITLE.  Not THIS year.  Not THIS team.

In summer of '09 Simmons is going to once again come out saying that he was with this team all along, No you (freakin) wasn't!



Simmons is so far from being the "Greatest Celtics Fan In The World" ... self-proclaimed, yes, but that in itself shows what his priority is: Self. Sorry, but when he writes about the C's it just turns me off, because he's so determined to be objective that he forgets he's not SUPPOSED to be! You nailed this, too, and if he wrote about the Celtics with the same passion he does when talking about OTHER teams, he would be one of my favorites, without a doubt. As it is, I've stopped reading most of what he writes, especially about the C's, because I can predict with about a 90% accuracy what he's going to say anyway. Great addition to a great post ... I owe you another TP in an hour! ;)
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Re: Remember who really believed when the stories change
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2009, 09:35:37 AM »

Offline Roy Hobbs

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I'm not predicting 75 wins and fo-fo-fo-fo, but I do see a championship.  I think this is the best team in the NBA, and Shaq, Vince, Artest, etc. don't scare me at all.

I'll sticky this at the top of the forum for you, so you can update it as the season goes along.

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Re: Remember who really believed when the stories change
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2009, 09:50:17 AM »

Offline CoachBo

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Agreed. This is on paper the best team in the NBA. VERY confident in that conclusion.

What gives me pause is injuries.

Re: Remember who really believed when the stories change
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2009, 10:27:41 AM »

Offline Birdbrain

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I'm with you and couldn't agree more with the revisionism of the media.  On paper this the best team of the KG era.
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Re: Remember who really believed when the stories change
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2009, 11:11:30 AM »

Offline cdif911

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well done, TP most definitely
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Re: Remember who really believed when the stories change
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2009, 11:19:54 AM »

Offline Redz

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Bahku, I'm with you for the most part.  I do think you can plug KG and the C's in for a lot of the Spurs lines there, but two things do jump out that do not plug in so easily...

1) Duncan is indeed a lot less of a health worry than KG

2) The Spurs do not have that DOMINANT, instantly identifiable, championship team he was eluding to.  This group of C's does (well, they only have the one championship, so it's easy to pick out). 

I think this argument needs to be looked at with hindsight if you want to plug in the C's to the equation.

But, yes, if all goes well.  PLUG AWAY!

GOCELTS

Re: Remember who really believed when the stories change
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2009, 11:43:38 AM »

Offline nickagneta

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I'm confident in winning the championship. I think this is definitely a championship team. I don't, however, see it as being anywhere near a 75 win club. The talent in the league is too deep and the good teams are too good and the C's have two brutal stretches in their schedule that make 72 wins impossible in my mind, never mind 75.

But I think they will be the best defensive team in the league. I think they will have a point differential of 10+ points. I think they will have 7 players scoring in double figures and at least 3 All-Stars and possible a Defensive Player of the Year and a Sixth Man of the Year.

To me every Celtic team is special, I just don't see this one as being magically, invincibly, special like the OP does. But they are still going to win banner 18!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Remember who really believed when the stories change
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2009, 12:08:28 PM »

Offline foulweatherfan

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I agree with the OP, a lot of the media loves to do the backtracking, revisionist history kind of thing.  I'd love to see a site that compares the success rate of media "experts" opinions to a monkey throwing poo at a dartboard full of possible events.  I think hilarity would ensue.

I will say in the summer of '07, some of the loss of skepticism came after we signed Posey and House.  Right after the KG trade we really had a skeletal bench; adding those two was when some of the pundits started to become optimistic about us.  I think that was reasonable. 

Re: Remember who really believed when the stories change
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2009, 12:17:42 PM »

Offline Rondo_is_better

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I'm not predicting 75 wins and fo-fo-fo-fo, but I do see a championship.  I think this is the best team in the NBA, and Shaq, Vince, Artest, etc. don't scare me at all.

I'll sticky this at the top of the forum for you, so you can update it as the season goes along.

I'm completely with Roy. I see a championship in the future but winning 75 games in the regular season followed by a 16-0 record in the playoffs is going 98-7 overall. That's a 92.8% winning percentage. I don't think that's sustainable over such a long period of time.

BUT I SEE A RING! 
Grab a few boards, keep the TO's under 14, close out on shooters and we'll win.

Re: Remember who really believed when the stories change
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2009, 12:38:47 PM »

Offline lon3lytoaster

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Shiny stuff.

Re: Remember who really believed when the stories change
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2009, 01:23:13 PM »

Offline RebusRankin

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I see the Celtics having a great regular season with 60+ wins and them winning the 2010 NBA championship.

Rebus is on the record.

 

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