Playoff Postmortem: Boston Celtics

Paul Pierce and the Celtics are defeated
(image from the AP)

The Big Three have made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. They have delivered on the promise of going deep in the postseason.

But this is not the Big Three Boston put together years before. This is the off-shoot of that move back in 2007 to bring three superstars together to contend for a title.

Pat Riley found favor in that template and adopted it for the Miami Heat, acquiring LeBron James and Chris Bosh in a bid to help Dwyane Wade earn his second title. Or is it keeping Wade and getting Bosh to help James win his first? That’s for another post altogether.

Back on topic though – the system the Boston Celtics created, popularized, and succeeded with has now bitten them in the butt. They went up against another version of the Big Three, a younger, quicker, stronger, more athletic, version that was just a few steps ahead of the curve.

The Celts got a dose of their own medicine and bit the dust. And many teams are following what they started. New York is looking to add maybe Chris Paul or Deron Williams to complement Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. Talks of Dwight Howard moving elsewhere to form another power connection are spreading like wildfire. Boston created a monster, and they’re multiplying.

And amid the Superstar-combo phenomenon sweeping the league, we have to ask this: what’s left for the original Big Three? Do they still have another title run in them, or is this the swan song?

Danny Ainge is facing the same grim question fellow “old favorites” like San Antonio, Los Angeles and Orlando are now facing: should things be blown up, or should they still stick it out and see what happens?
Should GM Danny Ainge blow this posse up?
(image by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo are all guaranteed for next year. Ray Allen probably won’t go anywhere else. Jeff Green and Glen Davis will probably get offers elsewhere, but their best chance of being part of a successful team is still with Boston.

For all intents and purposes, it’s pretty logical to assume few things will change in Boston, and like the Lakers, it’ll be fine. Perhaps the biggest thing they have to address is getting a quality big man a few years younger than Jermaine O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal. Just imagine if they had a Tyson Chandler-type of center. Man, the things he did for the Mavs could’ve probably pushed Boston past Miami!
Doc Rivers will be back, but which face
will he see in training camp?
(image by Elsa/Getty Images)
In the meantime though, Doc Rivers can be confident in the fact he’ll still have a host of future Hall-of-Famers in his stable next year, and that these Boston Celtics aren’t done yet. Not by a long shot. 

Ray Allen can choose to go somewhere else next year.
(image by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
KG vs Amar'e will headline games next season
(image by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Will Rajon Rondo ever be the same
after that freakish fall?
(image by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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