Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The 2012-2013 Green Machine Better Than ‘08 Model? You Betcha!

Yup…you heard it right: I’m saying right here, right now that the 2012-13 Celtics are not only better than last year’s bunch, they MAY even be better than the team that won it all in 2008!

Nothing like jumping right in with both feet, right?

I know….I know…the refs haven’t even botched the first jump ball of the season and some jack@$$ know-nothing blogger is already blaspheming the Championship Boston Celtics of 2008 before this year’s team even lifts an in-season jumpshot.

"Is this cat surrouss?" Well, yeah, I AM surrouss.

Hey, even looking through my decidedly jade-colored glasses as one of Boston’s hardest dying C’s fans, I realize that many a paper champion has been crowned in the late summer months and early preseason only to sh*t the bed come postseason (listen up, Lost Angel-Less Flakers!), but there is some pretty sound logic backing up my statement. Hell, I even have a color-coded chart to go with it!

Pretty high tech stuff, no?

Okay, no. But, still...

The green highlights represent the best player in the box from the three Celtics teams in question, with the yellow highlighting players that are either even or have no distinct advantage over the other highlighted player. Notice which team has the most green players?

Now, I fully submit that there’s room for haggling along some of the lines here -- does Posey’s veteran savvy and fire trump Green’s youth (what, you wanted me to say "heart?") and athleticism? Was P.J. Brown a better shooter than Brandon Bass or were they comparable? Baby’s getting the benefit of the doubt with the tie, but some think Sullinger is already more accomplished than Baby was in his first two years combined. And, for those of you rolling your eyes and saying, "But K.G. and The Truth are doing the reverse Benjamin Button before our very eyes!" I’ll grant you that SOME age is showing, but I’ll see your "old" and raise you one Rondo, who has gotten better with every passing year with no ceiling in sight.

So, I think we can all agree to leapfrog the comparison between this and last year’s team and move onto the good stuff, right? Right!

And, while I absolutely LOVED our team in 2008 (Ubuntu!, for Pete’s sake!), I think the argument holds ground on the basis of talent alone. Obviously, pre-season is a far cry from the regular season and an even more distant shout from the playoffs, but consider the improved level of talent on this year’s squad from the first player through the fifteenth. Sure, #20 was a better player in 2008 than Bradley was last year, but he’s probably going to be overtaken in comparative overall production this year - even with LeBrontasaurus hitting him off on the wing. Jet, Lee, Barbosa, Green and the rest are more athletic, offensively potent and may even develop into a more defensively capable team than 2008's sacred squad.

Now, that said, am I guaranteeing a parade on Causeway this coming June? Well, let’s downgrade my predictions to a strong premonition. For all of Danny Ainge’s inspired low-cost/high quality tinkering, a handful of other teams around the league have also gotten stronger. New Jersey Brooklyn may have one of the best paper teams in the league, Philadelphia has lost a couple of names but more than makes up for it with the acquisition of Andrew Bynum, the douchey champion Miami Heat still have to be considered contenders (even in spite of the addition of Rashard Lewis!) until proven otherwise as do runners up Oklahoma City (though the loss of Harden may hurt) and even the Lakers have improved with the addition of Dwight (I Just Want You To Love Me) Howard, Steve Nash, Jodi Meeks, and the calcifying seasoned veteran Antawn Jamison.

True, the injury potential is there for some of our elder statesmen, a couple of our returnees are coming off major heart surgeries and Bradley has yet to make it through a full season, but if I had to place my bets right now, I’d gladly put my money on the Celtics. Let the clowns get their faces painted in L.A. and the Benedict Arnolds lay their eggs in Miami. This team is built for speed and Rondo’s gonna drive it all the way to the Finals and into the winner’s circle.
Hey, anything is STILL possible.

The future starts on October 30th at 8pm. It's all about 18. LET'S GO C'S!! 

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