Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It's Win or Bust in Boston

By now the basketball world is aware that Rasheed Wallace has agreed to sign with the Boston Celtics come Wednesday. He picked Boston over San Antonio and Orlando, becoming another veteran weapon in the Boston arsenal. Reports have Wallace signing a two year deal for the mid-level exception with the Celtics, nothing groundbreaking, but significant nonetheless.

Wallace had little chance of escaping Boston's grip when a barrage of All Stars, the team president and coach Doc Rivers came to visit him at his home. Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, along with team president Danny Ainge and Rivers, persuaded Wallace to come on board and further their cause to return to the NBA Finals once again.

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But the question now becomes: How many seasons does this team have left in them? Garnett, Pierce, Allen, Stephon Marbury, Eddie House and now Wallace; at some point they have to inject their team with a talented young player other than Rajon Rondo. Glen Davis is coming along, Leon Powe shows promise and Kendrick Perkins is no slouch, either, but it's hard to say that any of the three will develop to become one of the perennial forces at their position.

Now reports are swirling that Grant Hill may be in the mix for the Celtics. Hill is familiar with Doc Rivers, having played for him in Orlando, although he was injured for much of his tenure with the Magic. Still, the Celtics seem to be setting themselves up for an implosion in the next couple of seasons. They have to go in with a 'win now' attitude because when later comes, it may be too late.

The Celtics quick fix in 2008 instantly catapulted the team to an elite level. Now, after losing to the Magic in the semifinals, the Celtics seem to be in search of another quick fix by adding Wallace and possibly Hill.

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Instead, Boston should be looking to add a few young sparkplugs that will sustain this team's respectability for years to come. They have the core in place for this season and the next and probably the next, but when Garnett, Pierce and Allen call it quits or their age begins to get the best of them, Boston will be lost unless they grab a few younger intermediaries to keep things alive until that special player comes along once again. Then, you grab him and win a title.

But no, the Celtics are bolting to a weeklong Vegas vacation and blowing their bank roll the first night at Caesar's. It won't be long before they realize how hot and unpleasant it is when you're sitting idly by the hotel pool with no prospects or means for having a good time.

I can understand the 'win now' attitude that Boston is carrying into this season, but I have to wonder how Boston fans feel about this philosophy. Boston could win this year and the rest of the city would rejoice in winning two titles in three years. Or they could fail in the semis, the conference finals or the NBA Finals. The Celtics are leaving little wiggle room for failure this season. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe a little sustainability in a franchise that has a history of longstanding dynasties would be a good thing too.

Written By Danny Hobrock



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