We reloaded: the new look, feel, taste, and swagger of the Celtics.
In the words of the prolific and substantive Busta Rhymes:
“What y’all wanna do? Don’t we always comin through, me and my crew
Lemme hear ya say “FIRE IT UP”! (FIRE IT UP!) Say “FIRE IT UP”! (FIRE IT UP!)”
The last two nights, our crew in green has certainly come through.
And even more than that? I’ll speak on behalf of the entire Celtics’ fan-base on this one: we are all freakin’ fired up.
After just two games, I can tell you that I have a great feeling about this team.
After just two games, I can tell you that this team is going to be successful.
After just two games, I can tell you that we can separate ourselves from the rest of the pack.
After just two games, I can tell you that we have so many good things to look forward to.
After just two games, I can tell you a lot.
If you are familiar with these parts, you know that I cannot say enough good things about Rondo. He’s been aggressive out of the gates: Rondo has been attacking, attacking, and attacking. We know he’s put on some muscle, but his speed, quickness, and agility seem to be at yet another unimaginable level. His killer crossover just turned into a mightily killer crossover on amphetamines. It almost seems like Rondo is trying to learn his way around this new gear. While he’s had some turnovers, we’ll see them fade away as he gets more games under his legs. His court vision? Sharp as a razor. He’s had some great looks, especially to Pierce on the wing and KG on the move toward the hoop. I like what I see: the more aggressive Rondo is, the more efficient and effective our offense runs.
Pierce has visibly slimmed down. He’s lost some bulk in his upper body and he is moving better than I’ve seen him move on the court in the last few years. I saw this first hand in the pre-season game against the Knicks when Pierce had that reverse dunk on a breakaway. His first step looks quick. Against the Cavs on Tuesday, Pierce twice (read: twice!), jab-stepped and faked out Lebron to take the ball to the hoop. On both occasions, the crappy Cleveland defense collapsed on him to send him to the line. Pierce is running the floor so well but he’s still big enough that he doesn’t lose the size advantage he’s always had on smaller forwards. Just when you thought match-up problems against Pierce couldn’t get worse for other teams…
Welcome back, Binky. While you’ve noticeably lost so much explosiveness, it’ll either come back as you get back into shape or it won’t. If this is all of the power you will have in your legs, that will be fine. You’ve marked your return to quarterbacking our defense and helping to spread the floor with your shots from the elbows and baseline. Honestly. Welcome back.
Perk’s starting to pull the trigger on that 10 foot jumper on the baseline and I’m liking it. Every single year, Perk has added another dimension to his game. This year, a 10 foot jumper? Yeah I’m on board for that. And the stalwart defense? Yup. Still there.
The best pick up of the off-season? Likely. He’s tied for that nomination with a teammate. Quisy looks like he’s been in this system for the last few seasons. For a guy that is helping to run the offense and asked to D up on Lebron, he’s been pretty impressive. I love how Quisy fits into the offense. I love that he pulled the trigger on the baseline for three after Cleveland kept egging him on. I love that he can put the ball on the floor and create his own shot in the paint. Most of all… I love that he can handle the ball and no one can take it away from him. Quisy has the kind of ball handling/control that looks like it is easy to take away, but it’s far from that.
The other guy that is tied up for the nomination for best pick up of the off-season. Sheed’s defensive abilities usually get lost amidst his on the court antics, but plenty of us have noticed what he’s doing. He’s made all of the right rotations off screens. He can guard the opposing big man on his own. Sheed has made the timely fouls when necessary. On offense, he spaces the floor as well as any other big man. Love it.
I’ve noticed a significant change in the way House is playing. He’s actually commanding on the court like a point guard. He’s much more vocal and seems to be assuming a good leadership role for that second unit. After all, Eddie is the vet of that second unit. I think it is helping to make him more effective but also helping that second unit to gel. I really like this, but am looking forward to seeing him drop threes like bombs sooner than later. He had a slow start last year on his way to a record setting percentage from behind the arc, so I’m going to be patient.
Have you seen the new Celtics promotion for tickets? Check it out:
One of their tag-lines this year is that the Celtics have RELOADED. We have reloaded, and it’s not just the added ammunition of Quisy and Sheed. KG is new. Pierce is new. Ray is new. Rondo is new. Perk is new. This entire team has a new look, feel, taste, and swagger.
Last of all, the team as a whole looks like they are having one heck of a time playing basketball. The team looks like they want to play together so they can chalk up a W together. They look like they’re having fun: every single one of them. For the older vets like Pierce/Ray/KG/Sheed, the smile is genuine because they know Father Time is knocking on their door.
And for the record: I’m having just as much fun watching as they are playing.
2 down. 80 to go.