There is a saying “the more things change the more they stay the same,” and while cryptic, there is a grain of truth in this piece of backward logic.
When one takes a step back and looks at the history of North American sports, forgetting for a moment that every event is an individual occurrence, it is alarming how often history repeats itself. The Portland Trail Blazers made one of the biggest mistakes ever in 1984 when they selected Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan, then did almost the exact same thing 13 years later, taking Greg Oden over Kevin Durant in 2007. The New England Patriots lost the 2007 Superbowl in heartbreaking fashion to the New York Giants, and then had the exact same thing happen again five years later, losing both games on last second drive be Eli Manning and spectacular catches by Giant receivers. One has to assume that these, along with countless other examples, are coincidences and nothing more. However with the way events tend to repeat themselves it is hard not to wonder, which is why one is forced to wonder if the 2012-2013 Boston Celtics are doomed to repeat the early 90’s once again.
There was still a good sense of optimism among Celtic followers going into the 1990-91 season. The Celtics had collapsed in the playoffs the previous year, losing to Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks despite holding a 2-0 series lead. Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish were all clearly on the back nine of their careers, and Danny Ainge and Dennis Johnson were gone at this point. However, the Celtics had still managed to put together a deep and talented team in the early 90s. Reggie Lewis was starting to come into his own, and he along with Brian Shaw and rookie Dee Brown gave Boston a much needed infusion of youth and athleticism, which they used to score fast break points in bunches. Boston jumped out to a 29-3 record, but slumped in the second half and eventually fell to the Detroit Pistons in the second round of the playoffs. The story was much the same for the ’91-’92 season. Bird, McHale and Parish were all slowed by age and injuries, but Lewis and Boston’s strong depth carried them to the Atlantic division crown once again. However in the playoffs they again bowed out in the second round, this time in a tough seven game series with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Does this sound at all familiar? Celtic fans may not want to hear it, but there is an eerie similarity between what was going on in Boston in the early 90’s and what is going on right now. Much like ’90-’91 the 2012-2013 Celtics enter the season with two dynamic stars who have admittedly lost a step or two in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Many argue that McHale was never the same after playing the 1987 playoffs with a broken foot just as they say that Garnett hasn’t been the same since injuring his knee in 2009. Pierce arguably has more left in the tank at this point than Bird did back in the early 90s. After all Pierce has been remarkably durable throughout his career while Bird was so hampered by back injuries in his final two seasons that he could barely stand up by the end. However, Pierce was never as good as Bird to begin with, so the comparison probably comes out pretty even. The early 90’s Celtics offset the aging process by assembling a younger, deeper, more athletic supporting cast thanks to the emergence of Lewis and the acquisition of Shaw and Brown. The 2012-2013 Celtics hope to do the same thanks to the emergence of Avery Bradley and the additions of Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, and Jeff Green. This could almost come right out of the script of Back to the Future. (more…)
BY RYAN DESMARAIS, Feedcrossing.com syndication
Fans of the Boston Celtics better be prepared to hear stories like this for the next few months.
While we await word of whether or not Kevin Garnett will return for his 18th season, we are already hearing that a team not named the Boston Celtics is interested in his services should he decide to lace up his ANTA kicks next year. The interested team is the San Antonio Spurs. (San Antonio Express-News)
The Spurs will consider everything and everyone this summer when free agency begins. But one option tossed out this weekend by one in the Spurs organization is not just another name.
Garnett could retire. He could sign another contract with the Celtics. Or the Celtics might not want to sign him so they can begin rebuilding.
Some will have more money to offer than the Spurs will. Some might have more young talent to put around him. All the Spurs could give Garnett is the closest thing to what he had in Boston, a veteran core with a chance to contend. (more…)
BY JON FRANK, Couchsideshow.com contributor
How? Was the first thing that came to my head. Miami’s got the three-time MVP (LeBron James), the NBA’s Batman and his Robin (Dwyane Wade), not to mention a semi-healthy Chris Bosh. Boston’s got what’s left of the Big Three and Rajon Rondo. This shouldn’t happen. It defies all notions of NBA logic. In professional basketball, superstars are supposed to strap in, go off for 30 a night and carry their inferior, but well-meaning teammates, along for the ride. But watching the Celtics win three straight against the Heat – and listening to Michael Wilbon and the boys’ postgame analysis – it made me remember how much of a team sport basketball is.
Boston is a great team. We knew they were great in years past, and most everyone expected them to do some damage. But few people expected this. Obviously, a lot has happened since people made their initial East Conference champions predictions. Namely, Derrick Rose’s ACL derailed the Bulls (honorable mention to Joakim Noah, the second best player on that team, who went down with a sprained ankle). Aside from that, how many people actually thought an aging Boston team would be on the verge of sending the ridiculously talented Super Team packing? Not me. Then again, I’m no NBA expert – not by a long shot. (more…)
BY ANDREW WITTRY, Feedcrossing.com syndication
After Chris Bosh’s abdominal strain that sidelined him in Game 1 of the Eastern Semifinals, and falling behind 2-1 in the series, the Heat were thrown into a must-win scenario in Game 4. It was the first time all season that Erik Spoelstra’s squad had been in danger of being eliminated by a non-elite team (any team outside of the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, and San Antonio Spurs). Their one-game deficit also marked the widespread realization of how important Chris Bosh is to the Heat. Bosh often gets discounted when it comes to the Big Three. Dwayne Wade is the long-time hero of Miami who brought a championship to South Beach. LeBron James is the four-time MVP who puts the Heat on his back night in and night out. And what is Chris Bosh? In reality he is an All-Star level talent who has 20 ppg and 10 rpg potential; however, the former Georgia Tech forward is the third scoring option in Miami and does not get the credit he deserves for the role he plays alongside D-Wade and LeBron. (more…)
BY Couchsideshow.com staff
Couch Side’s regular co-host, Craig Paul, makes his much anticipated to this week’s podcast. He joins regular host Wade McMillin for discussions about the Stanley Cup Finals, NFL Quarterback battles, the Roger Clemens trial, the NBA playoffs and sports memorabilia:
BY Couchsideshow.com staff
Couch Side baseball insider Brandon J. Smith makes his debut on our podcast to discuss the NBA playoffs, Stan Van Gundy’s firing, I’ll Have Another’s chance at the triple crown and Dallas Clark signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Smith and Couch Side host Wade McMillin also have a great baseball debate about who is the better player — Josh Hamilton or Matt Kemp. See who the pair picks as the MLB’s best by following the links below: